The CBGP researcher, Bruna Fernanda Silva de Sousa a PhD student from the research group Associations of symbiotic bacteria with plants under the supervision of Prof. Luis Rey has been recently awarded the Jeff Shell Fellowship for Agricultural Science, a very competitive Bayer Foundation grant.
The fellowship is designed to foster interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration across borders. It allowed Bruna to take part in the academic exchange to Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research Cologne, Germany and to broaden her research on the study of rhizobia hosting the type VI secretion protein system (T6SS) and their effect on competition in synthetic rhizosphere communities under the supervision of Dr. Ruben Garrido-Otten and Dr. Kathrin Wippel. Rhizobia are bacteria of great agronomic and ecological importance because they are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen and transfer it to legume roots. The Rhizobium-legume symbiosis saves on nitrogen fertilizers, which are obtained from fossil fuels and whose excessive use pollutes the environment.