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High-resolution 3D mapping of rhizosphere glycan patterning using molecular probes in a transparent soil system

Lookup NU author(s): Professor William WillatsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2021Rhizospheres are microecological zones at the interface of roots and soils. Interactions between bacteria and roots are critical for maintaining plant and soil health but are difficult to study because of constraints inherent in working with underground systems. We have developed an in-situ rhizosphere imaging system based on transparent soils and molecular probes that can be imaged using confocal microscopy. We observed spatial patterning of polysaccharides along roots and on cells deposited into the rhizosphere and also co-localised fluorescently tagged soil bacteria. These studies provide insight into the complex glycan landscape of rhizospheres and suggest a means by which root / rhizobacteria interactions can be non-disruptively studied.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jones CY, Engelhardt I, Patko D, Dupuy L, Holden N, Willats WGT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The Cell Surface

Year: 2021

Volume: 7

Print publication date: 01/12/2021

Online publication date: 16/07/2021

Acceptance date: 12/07/2021

Date deposited: 28/01/2022

ISSN (electronic): 2468-2330

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/j.tcsw.2021.100059


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Funder referenceFunder name
N8 Agrifood Program Newcastle Pump priming
received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 647857-SENSOILS).