The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) in Danville, Virginia has recently established a collaboration with Dr. Brent Nielsen, Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The collaboration is centered on beneficial bacteria that are capable of increasing plant growth in agricultural soils containing high levels of salt. The bacteria isolated by Dr. Nielsen, called halophiles, will be tested on IALRs SMART table imaging system along with bacteria from IALR’s in-house endophyte library. 

“We are excited to be working with Dr. Nielsen on salt tolerant beneficial bacteria as this is an area of high interest with agricultural producers in many parts of the world” said Dr. Scott Lowman, Chief Scientist at IALR. Executive Director Mark Gignac noted that IALR plans to add an additional 1000 bacteria to our endophyte library, also known as our beneficial bacteria toolbox, during the 2018 growing season. 

Photo: Dr. Chuansheng Mei is shown with a dish of bacterial endophytes that solubilize insoluble phosphates. 

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