Plants get zinc from the soil via their root systems. This uptake of nutrients is enhanced in many plants by mycorrhizal fungi which colonise the roots, creating a vast connection between the plant roots and the soil around them. Mycorrhizal fungi effectively increase the surface area of the roots, collecting nutrients from the soil beyond the reach of plant roots alone, and transfer these nutrients back to the plant.
Scientist, Dr Stephanie Watts-Williams, wants to find out how such mycorrhizal fungi can improve the zinc nutrition of plants, and subsequently impact on human health – particularly in countries where zinc malnutrition is a serious issue.
Read on here about Stephanie and her research at the Adelaide node of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility, and other Waite Research Precinct partners.
Discover more about Stephanie’s research here or find her on Twitter: @myco_research