IBH Seminar: Phytosiderophore pathway for barley micronutrient acquisition

The International Barley Hub is pleased to announce the next in the 2024 series of seminars. This seminar is titled “Wanted: micronutrients – Revisiting the phytosiderophore pathway for micronutrient acquisition in barley” and will be presented by Dr Eva Oburger, from the Institute of Soil Research, University of Natrural Resources and Life Sciences , Vienna, Austria

Speakers bio:

“I am an expert in rhizosphere biogeochemistry and I have unique experience in the application of different root exudate sampling approaches in different experimental settings and at different experimental scales. My research focus lies at the plant-soil-microbe interface and I always aim to work across disciplines to gain more wholistic insights into belowground processes. In 2018, I was awarded an ERC Starting Grant that allowed me to establish my own research team at the University of Natural resources and Life Sciences, Vienna Austria.”


Efficient micronutrient acquisition is a critical factor in selecting micronutrient dense crops for human consumption. Enhanced exudation and re-uptake of metal chelators, so-called phytosiderophores (PS) by roots of gramineous plants has been implicated in efficient micronutrient acquisition. We investigated PS biosynthesis and exudation as a response mechanism to either Fe, Zn or Cu starvation under hydroponic and soil growth condition. The response strength of the PS pathway was micronutrient dependent and decreased in the order Fe > Zn > Cu deficiency. We observed a stronger expression of PS pathway genes and greater PS exudation in the barley line with large micronutrient grain yield suggesting that a highly expressed PS pathway might be an important trait involved in high micronutrient accumulation. We also tested the micronutrient mobilization capacity of different PS in different soils and found micronutrient mobilization to be PS, soil type and concentration dependent. Our studies deliver important insights into the role of the PS pathway in the acquisition of different micronutrients.