Carl Otto Pille
Theme 2 and 3
Nitrogen (N) fixing, plant root associated bacteria are potential sustainable alternatives to traditional synthetic N fertilisers. Through an improved understanding of their interactions with agriculturally significant crops, these bacteria might be better implemented as biofertilisers in the future. My project aims to isolate novel nitrogen fixing bacteria and characterise their early interactions with the model cereal plant, Brachypodium distachyon under N stress. This will be achieved via the use of next generation omics and biochemical techniques. The results of this project will help to answer fundamental questions regarding the relationship between N fixing bacteria and cereal plants and may lead to improved biofertiliser formulations and manipulation of endemic microbiomes. Carl is working with Hang Wei Hu as part of theme 3.
Carl has a Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry) and a Master of Science (BioScience) from The University of Melbourne. He is interested in the molecular basis underpinning the relationship between beneficial bacteria and plants, with the ultimate goal to create sustainable biofertilisers which remain stable in the field. His Masters project focused on the isolation of novel plant associated bacteria with the ability to mineralise organic phosphorus compounds and their positive effects on the growth of wheat. He combined culture dependent and independent methods to characterise isolated bacteria, as well as non-invasive and invasive methods to measure plant growth promotion.