School of Biosciences
 

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Bipin Pandey

Group Leader, Faculty of Science

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Biography

Dr. Bipin Pandey's group aims to discover novel root adaptive responses and signals which provide greater access to nutrients and water in poor soils. Recently, we discovered that ethylene acts as a key signal to sense soil compaction (Pandey et al., 2021, Science & Huang et al., 2022, PNAS). Moreover, we also discovered that how the hormone auxin plays a key role during low phosphate stress by promoting hair elongation (Bhosale, et al, 2018, Nature Comms; Giri et al, 2018, Nature Comms). We are employing multidisciplinary approaches to uncover the mechanism of root growth underpinning the root adaptive responses in poor and problematic soils.

Lay Summary:

Soil compaction is a significant challenge that modern agriculture faces, leading to a decrease in crop yields of up to 25%. When combined with drought, the impact can be even more severe, causing up to a 75% reduction in yields. The roots of crops struggle to penetrate hard soils, resulting in billions of pounds in losses each year. While various techniques have been employed to mitigate the effects of soil compaction, such as reducing tillage, controlled traffic farming (CTF), or sub-soil management, they can be time-consuming, expensive, and not very effective for the deeper soil profile.

A promising solution to improving crop growth in affected fields is to engineer crops to better withstand compacted soil environments. This is particularly important in Europe, where 36 million hectares of soil are prone to compaction. Our recent discovery that roots can penetrate compacted soils after disrupting their sensitivity to the plant signal ethylene (Pandey et al., Science, 2021) presents a realistic possibility for achieving this goal.

Expertise Summary

Imaging expertise of root soil interactions ranging from molecular to whole plant scale in different soil conditions.

The lab primarily focuses interdisciplinary research using computed tomography imaging, molecular approaches (single cell transcriptomics, CHIP-Seq), Proteomics (proximity labeling based TURBO ID), plant based hormone biosensor studies in soil conditions, transgenic approaches, Brillouin microscopy and gas profiling from soil systems.

Media Highlight:

  1. BBC News has reported on the issue of soil compaction in modern agriculture, which can reduce crop yields by up to 25% and cause billions of pounds in losses annually. Various techniques have been employed to mitigate the effects of soil compaction, but they can be time-consuming, expensive, and not very effective for the deeper soil profile.

  2. Our breakthrough discovery of the role of the gaseous hormone ethylene in soil compaction has received significant global media coverage. This discovery presents a promising solution for engineering crops to better withstand compacted soil environments. The paper's findings were covered by over 18 global news outlets and received over 2.7 million Twitter followers, with funding agencies such as UKRI recognizing the importance of this work.

  3. Our research on the role of ethylene in soil compaction has been the subject of a press release and coverage in electronic media, including Nature News and BBC Radio One. The news has been covered in various media outlets such as ANI and Future Food Beacon, highlighting the importance of this breakthrough discovery.

Recent Publications

  • CARLA DE LA FUENTE, ALEXANDRE GRONDIN, BASSIROU SINE, MARILYNE DEBIEU, CHRISTOPHE BELIN, AMIR HAJJARPOOR, JONATHAN A. ATKINSON, SIXTINE PASSOT, MARINE SALSON, JULIE ORJUELA, CHRISTINE TRANCHANT-DUBREUIL, JEAN-R'EMY BROSSIER, MAXIME STEFFEN, CHARLOTTE MORGADO, HANG NGAN DINH, BIPIN K. PANDEY, JULIE DARMAU, ANTONY CHAMPION, ANNE- SOPHIE PETITOT, CELIA BARRACHINA, MARINE PRATLONG, THIBAULT MOUNIER, PASCAL GANTET, PRAKASH GANGASHETTY, YANN GU'EDON, VINCENT VADEZ, JEAN-PHILIPPE REICHHELD, MALCOLM J. BENNETT, NDJIDO KANE, SOAZIG GUYOMARC'H, DARREN M. WELLS, YVES VIGOUROUX and LAURENT LAPLAZE, 2023. Glutaredoxin regulation of primary root growth confers early drought stress tolerance in pearl millet
  • QIN, HUA, PANDEY, BIPIN K, LI, YUXIANG, HUANG, GUOQIANG, WANG, JUAN, QUAN, RUIDANG, ZHOU, JIAHAO, ZHOU, YUN, MIAO, YUCHEN, ZHANG, DABING, BENNETT, MALCOLM J and HUANG, RONGFENG, 2022. Orchestration of ethylene and gibberellin signals determines primary root elongation in rice. The Plant cell.
  • HUANG, GUOQIANG, KILIC, AZAD, KARADY, MICHAL, ZHANG, JIAO, MEHRA, POONAM, SONG, XIAOYUN, STURROCK, CRAIG J, ZHU, WANWAN, QIN, HUA, HARTMAN, SJON, SCHNEIDER, HANNAH M, BHOSALE, RAHUL, DODD, IAN C, SHARP, ROBERT E, HUANG, RONGFENG, MOONEY, SACHA J, LIANG, WANQI, BENNETT, MALCOLM J, ZHANG, DABING and PANDEY, BIPIN K, 2022. Ethylene inhibits rice root elongation in compacted soil via ABA- and auxin-mediated mechanisms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 119(30), e2201072119
  • FUSI, RICCARDO, ROSIGNOLI, SERENA, LOU, HAOYU, SANGIORGI, GIUSEPPE, BOVINA, RICCARDO, PATTEM, JACOB K, BORKAR, ADITI N, LOMBARDI, MARCO, FORESTAN, CRISTIAN, MILNER, SARA G, DAVIS, JAYNE L, LALE, ANEESH, KIRSCHNER, GWENDOLYN K, SWARUP, RANJAN, TASSINARI, ALBERTO, PANDEY, BIPIN K, YORK, LARRY M, ATKINSON, BRIAN S, STURROCK, CRAIG J, MOONEY, SACHA J, HOCHHOLDINGER, FRANK, TUCKER, MATTHEW R, HIMMELBACH, AXEL, STEIN, NILS, MASCHER, MARTIN, NAGEL, KERSTIN A, DE GARA, LAURA, SIMMONDS, JAMES, UAUY, CRISTOBAL, TUBEROSA, ROBERTO, LYNCH, JONATHAN P, YAKUBOV, GLEB E, BENNETT, MALCOLM J, BHOSALE, RAHUL and SALVI, SILVIO, 2022. Root angle is controlled by EGT1 in cereal crops employing an antigravitropic mechanism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 119(31), e2201350119

Dr. Lucas P. Ogorek [EMBO Long Term Fellow]

Dr. Lucas León Ogorek obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of Copenhagen after completing his 3-year TALENT doctoral Fellowship co-funded by the EU HORIZON2020 research and innovation program. His pioneering work unveiled how these root tissues fortify plants against the adverse impacts of abiotic stressors, including phytotoxins and drought. During his Ph.D., he produced 3 first author papers, 2 in New Phytologist and 1 in Plant and Soil, and several more through collaborations.

In 2023, Lucas has joined Dr. Bipin Pandey's lab as a EMBO postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nottingham, to discover how ethylene, a gaseous hormone, moves through tissues during soil compaction. Lucas has a great deal of expertise working with gases (O2, H2, water vapour, H2S), making him an ideal candidate for this challenging project. His research interests involve root abiotic stresses, how roots cope with such stresses, and how to develop new crops able to sustain the increasing pressure on food production driven by climate change and the increasing world population.

Edward Farrar [BBSRC DTP PhD Student]

Edward Farrar is a PhD student with a foundation in Plant Science, using molecular biology and non-invasive imaging approaches to explore the signaling interactions between roots and soil. He graduated with a Plant Science degree (BSc Hons.) in 2022 and had the opportunity to participate in a Rank Prize Vacation Studentship the previous year. This experience piqued his interest in soil compaction and crop development, which he further pursued in his undergraduate research by examining the roles of Ethylene and Jasmonic acid in soil compaction sensing.

Currently, he is embarking on a PhD project with the Nottingham BBSRC DTP, titled "Quantifying New Roles of Jasmonic Acid in Shaping Root Architecture in Compacted Soil." This interdisciplinary research delves into the molecular and genetic mechanisms through which roots perceive soil compaction through the diffusion of volatile gases. His methodology includes using non-invasive X-ray CT and digital reconstruction to image root structures and various molecular techniques to elucidate the genetic pathways and functions involved. Beyond his academic endeavors, Edward enjoys woodworking, classic car restoration, and computer coding.

Victoria Lightfoot [MSci Student]

Theo Degand [Master Student]

School of Biosciences

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