The Garcia laboratory focuses on deciphering the molecular basis of bi-directional nutrient fluxes between plant roots and soil microbes, with a particular emphasis on arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal associations. Mycorrhizal fungi considerably improve nutrition of the host plant. Therefore, it is conceivable that utilizing these natural symbioses will reduce the amount of fertilizers in future agricultural and forestry practices.
We explore the molecular players participating in nutrient allocation in arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal associations using physiological, biochemical, molecular, genetic, and transcriptomic approaches. Our research contributes to the harnessing of plant-microbe associations to improve nutrient use efficiency and tolerance to global environmental changes in agroecosystems.