The Plant-Microbe Interfaces (PMI) project is a Scientific Focus Area directed towards understanding the dynamic interface that exists between plants, microbes and their environment. A specific focus is on defining the genetic bases of molecular communication between Populus and its microbial consortia. Understanding the inherent chemical and physical processes involved will facilitate natural routes to the cycling and sequestration of carbon in terrestrial environments, ecosystem response to climate change, and the development and management of renewable energy sources.
The project integrates expertise in the areas of plant genomics, fungal and bacterial research, fungal ecology, analytical tool development and computational biology and is based at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with collaborators at the University of Washington, Duke University, and INRA – Nancy (France). The project is a Foundational Genomics Scientific Focus Area supported by the Genomic Science Program of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy.