The microrelief of plant surfaces, mainly caused by epicuticular wax crystalloids, serves different purposes and often causes effective water repellency. Furthermore, the adhesion of contaminating particles is reduced. Based on experimental data carried out on microscopically smooth (Fagus sylvatica L., Gnetum gnemon L., Heliconia densiflora Verlot, Magnolia grandiflora L.) and rough water-repellent plants (Brassica oleracea L., Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott., Mutisia decurrens Cav., Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.), it is shown here for the first time that the interdependence between surface roughness, reduced particle adhesion and water repellency is the keystone in the self-cleaning mechanism of many biological surfaces. The plants were artificially contaminated with various particles and subsequently subjected to artificial rinsing by sprinkler or fog generator. In the case of water-repellent leaves, the particles were removed completely by water droplets that rolled off the surfaces independent of their chemical nature or size. The leaves of N. nucifera afford an impressive demonstration of this effect, which is, therefore, called the “Lotus-Effect” and which may be of great biological and technological importance.
March 30th 2021
Dr. Christine Jones presents “Secrets of the Soil Sociobiome”
Links to articles mentioned in the Q&A are found below
1. Re-visioning soil foodwebs
Editorial by Mark Bradford, published in the Journal of Soil Biology & Biochemistry (2016). There are 14 other articles linked to this.
2. Techniques for assessing functional diversity in soils can be found in section 1.6 of the following article, entitled ‘Microbial Signaling in Plant—Microbe Interactions and Its Role on Sustainability of Agroecosystems’
3. Enhancement of drought tolerance in crops by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria
4. The following article is also illuminating ….
Rolfe, S.A, Griffiths, J, Ton, J. (2019). Crying out for help with root exudates: adaptive mechanisms by which stressed plants assemble health-promoting soil microbiomes. Curr Opin Microbiol. 49:73-82. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2019.10.003.
No bacterium lives alone — it is constantly encountering members of its own species as well as other kinds of bacteria and diverse organisms like viruses, fungi, plants and animals. To navigate a complex world, microbes use chemical signals to sense and communicate with one another.
Live streamed on Monday, January 28th, 2013, from 6-7:30 p.m. at ASM’s headquarters, 1752 N St., NW, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Bonnie Bassler, Princeton University
Bonnie Bassler Ph.D. is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. The research in her laboratory focuses on the molecular mechanisms that bacteria use for intercellular communication. This process is called quorum sensing. Bassler’s research is paving the way to the development of novel therapies for combating bacteria by disrupting quorum-sensing-mediated communication. Dr. Bassler was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2002. She was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2002 and made a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004. Dr. Bassler was the President of the American Society for Microbiology in 2010-2011; she is currently the Chair of the American Academy of Microbiology Board of Governors. She is also a member of the National Science Board and was nominated to that position by President Barak Obama. The Board oversees the NSF and prioritizes the nation’s research and educational priorities in science, math and engineering.
Dr. Steven Lindow, University of California, Berkeley
Steven Lindow Ph.D. is a Professor at the University of California, Berkley where his research focuses on various aspects of the interaction of bacteria with the surface and interior of plants. Dr. Lindow’ s lab uses a variety of molecular and microscopy-based methods to study the ecology of bacterial epiphytes that live on the surface of plants as well as certain bacteria that are vascular pathogens of plants. They also study bacteria that live in and on plants that are fostered by consumption of the alkaloids produced by endophytic fungi. The longer-term goal of their research is to improve plants’ productivity by achieving control of plant diseases through altering the microbial communities in and on plants. Dr. Lindow is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and was elected to fellowship in both the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1999.
From Pulitzer Prize winner Ed Yong, a groundbreaking, wondrously informative, and vastly entertaining examination of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin—a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth.
Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ed Yong, whose humor is as evident as his erudition, prompts us to look at ourselves and our animal companions in a new light—less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we assuredly are.
The microbes in our bodies are part of our immune systems and protect us from disease. In the deep oceans, mysterious creatures without mouths or guts depend on microbes for all their energy. Bacteria provide squid with invisibility cloaks, help beetles to bring down forests, and allow worms to cause diseases that afflict millions of people.
Many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us—the microbiome—build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities, and grant us incredible abilities. In this astonishing book, Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it.
Humans harbor diverse microbial communities in and on our bodies, and these can be readily detected in the built environment. Human-associated bacteria disperse into and throughout buildings by three primary mechanisms: (1) direct human contact with indoor surfaces; (2) bioaerosol particle emission from our breath, clothes, skin and hair; and (3) resuspension of indoor dust containing previously shed human skin cells, hair and other bacteria-laden particles. Microbial communities in the built environment are often traced back to an individual person, based on their direct contact with an object, including classroom surfaces and mobile phones. Using our unique Climate Chamber, we measured the airborne bacterial emissions, or “microbial cloud“, of individuals. Most occupants could be clearly detected by their cloud or by settled microbial particles within 1.5 – 4 hours. Our results confirm that an occupied space is microbially-distinct from an unoccupied one, and demonstrate for the first time that individuals release their own personalized microbial cloud.
Gabe Brown of Brown’s Ranch in Bismarck, ND, shares his transformative journey of cultivating his farm from modern conventional use to a thriving living ecosystem. Through no-till and extensive cover crop usage, Gabe and his family are able to support a diverse array of farm and ranching enterprises that are both profitable and models of sustainability in regenerative agriculture. Learn more at www.brownsranch.us