Location: Ireland
Work interests: Plant Science, Plant Microbiome, Sustainable Agriculture
Affiliation/website: Trinity College Dublin
Preferred contact method: Reply to post in blog/forum/group
Preferred contact language(s): English
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Endophytologist at Trinity College Dublin

Brian R. Murphy is a Botanist/Endophytologist in the Botany Department at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. From an Irish perspective, he is largely responsible for the exciting research and associated publications relating to fungal endophyte application in agriculture. He is recognised as a leading expert in endophyte discovery from wild relatives of crops and their application to increasing stress...

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Research Cooperative
09/08/18 07:35:22AM @chief-admin:

Thanks... I think you have given me some key words: "a more stable 'core' microbiome.". 

This is what I would like to learn more about.

Best regards, P.

Research Cooperative
08/08/18 11:00:35PM @chief-admin:

Dear Dr Murphy,

I am studying biogeography of the semi-aquatic wild relatives an aroid root crop (Colocasia esculenta, taro, monocot).

Although this is far from the cereal crops you work with, I wonder if the microbiomes/endophytes of monocots have more in common with each other than with the microbiomes/endophytes of dicots?

Or are the relationships more closely driven by the environment in which each crop has evolved, and the ecophysiology of the crop?

Or perhaps the life history traits have a major effect - taro is clonal, so the endophytes and microbiomes may also persist and co-evolve continuously within clonal lineages... potentially over many thousands of years.

I am not working on such details. I have merely a general interest in the subject.

Thanks, Peter

08/08/18 11:13:38PM @brianrdmurphy:
Hi Peter, Nice to hear you are interested in my work! I can briefly address some of your points but endophyte/microbiome recruitment and persistence in plants and environment is a complex topic. We generally find that environment has the biggest impact on endophyte groups found in particular plants, but this is dependent on plant group and endophyte ecology. Many endophytes are vertically transmitted, so tend to be more stable in the plant system through generations. Horizontally transmitted endophytes tend to more ephemeral and are often recruited during plant stress events. Your clonally propagated taro will probably lose and/or gain particular endophyte strains depending on environmental conditions, but they may have a more stable 'core' microbiome. As you can see I have used a lot of vagueness here, which just goes to show how biological systems are sometimes difficult to describe with confidence! Regards, Brian.