Dr Krista Plett joined the HIE in 2016 as a postdoctoral research fellow in plant:microbe interactions. Her research focuses on the molecular and genetic basis for the establishment of symbiosis between plant roots and beneficial soil borne microbes, such as ectomycorrhizal fungi. She is interested in genetic adaptations on the part of the plant that allow it to control the extent of colonization and negotiate fair trade with its fungal partner. Specifically, she is considering the role of plant nutrient transporters, epigenetic controls through protein methylation and plant expressed small secreted proteins (SSPs) in determining the success of an interaction. She accomplishes this with a variety of techniques including RNA sequencing, generation of transgenic plants, Yeast II hybrid interaction studies and other molecular techniques. Dr. Plett is also involved in an initiative to sequence the genomes and transcriptomes of Pisolithus species from around the world and determine the variability of their ability to interact with Eucalyptus roots and sequester carbon, both under current and future climactic conditions.
Dr. Plett began her research career in analytical chemistry completing a Ph.D. at Queen's University, Canada, in 2008. Since then she has held positions at both the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) in France and here at Western Sydney University in the area of plant:microbe interactions.
Selected Recent Publications
Plett KL, Plett JM. (in press) "Pathogenic and Mutualistic Symbiotic Interactions" in Angiosperm Tree Genomics. Eds. A. Groover, Q. Cronk. Springer.
Plett KL, (2018) 'Fresh knowledge for an old relationship: new discoveries in molecular mycorrhizal research', New Phytologist, vol.217, no.1, pp 26-28
Hortal S, Plett KL, Plett JM, Cresswell T, Johansen M, Pendall E, Anderson IC, (2017) 'Role of plant-fungal nutrient trading and host control in determining the competitive success of ectomycorrhizal fungi', ISME Journal, vol.11, no.12, pp 2666-2676
Plett KL, Raposo AE, Bullivant S, Anderson IC, Piller SC, Plett JM, (2017) 'Root morphogenic pathways in Eucalyptus grandis are modified by the activity of protein arginine methyltransferases', BMC Plant Biology, vol.17, no.1, Article no.62
Plett JM, Plett KL, Bithell SL, Mitchell C, Moore K, Powell JR, Anderson IC, (2016) 'Improved Phytophthora resistance in commercial chickpea (Cicer arietinum) varieties negatively impacts symbiotic gene signalling and symbiotic potential in some varieties', Plant Cell and Environment, vol.39, no.8, pp 1858-1869
Plett JM, Kohler A, Khachane A, Keniry K, Plett KL, Martin F, Anderson IC, (2015) 'The effect of elevated carbon dioxide on the interaction between Eucalyptus grandis and diverse isolates of Pisolithus sp. is associated with a complex shift in the root transcriptome', New Phytologist, vol.206, no.4, pp 1423-1436