ONLINE ONLY: Know Mystery - Microbes in Seeds

Tuesday, October 19, 2021
5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
All Branches
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This is a live webinar. Register here for the link: or click the Register Here link above.

A recording of this program will be available beginning October 22.

Explore how microbes end up inside seeds, how their communities impact plant health, and future directions for ecological research on seed microbes.

Plant-associated microbiota (e.g. fungi, bacteria, archaea, viruses etc.) are found across all plant species and tissues, and can influence various plant functions, including responses to pathogens and pests, responses to abiotic stressors and growth. Given the ecological and agricultural importance of these impacts on plants, there is great interest in understanding how plant-associated microbial communities form, change and function. However, these communities vary widely across plant tissues, individual plant hosts, plant populations and plant communities. This variation makes it hard to predict how plant microbial communities will be structured, and thus how they affect plant health. This is especially true for seeds, which have been historically understudied and are known to vary across environments, plant species and plant genotypes. Since seeds are agents of plant reproduction and face a higher risk of mortality, their microbes may play a significant role in young plant survival and fitness. This webinar will explore how microbes end up inside seeds, how their communities impact plant health, and future directions for ecological research on seed microbes.

Gillian Bergmann is a 2nd year Ecology Ph.D. student in the lab of Dr. Johan Leveau at the University of California-Davis. For her graduate work, Gillian Bergmann is interested the processes driving microbial transmission from flowers to seeds. Additionally, she is broadly interested in the impacts of seed microbes on plant health, using metacommunity ecology concepts to understand plant microbiota and incorporating environmental justice into ecological research. Gillian is a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship and the UC Davis Dean's Distinguished Graduate Fellowship. She received her Honors Bachelor of Science in BioResource Research at Oregon State University. For her honors undergraduate thesis, she worked with Dr. Posy Busby to survey the seed fungi of coastal Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii) across the Pacific Northwest and in New Zealand. Outside of her research, she acts as the Media and Tech Chair for the UC Davis Ecology Graduate Student Association (EGSA), and as the President and Gravel Coordinator of the UC Davis Cycling Club.


Event Type
Adult Program
Age Group(s)
Gillian Bergmann
Laurel Westendorf | | 541-312-1029