Amber B Webb
My research career has focused on understanding how microbes sense and respond to signals in the environment. As a graduate student, my thesis project examined chemotaxis signal transduction pathways in the soil diazotroph, Azospirillum brasilense. A. brasilense colonizes the root surfaces of cereals and grasses and possesses four chemotaxis operons. The focus of my dissertation was the Che1 chemotaxis signaling pathway and investigating its role in regulating chemotaxis, swimming velocity, clumping behavior, and cell length. As a post-doctoral associate, my project has focused on direct plant-microbe interactions; specifically, how a microbe attaches to a surface, then colonizes and forms a biofilm there. In my current research, I am using a variety of microbial isolates, including Pantoea, Variovorax, and many more, while trying to understand the different strategies that bacteria use in root colonization.