Mike Anderson, Associate Professor
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry
Oklahoma State University
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences
371 Agricultural Hall
Stillwater, OK 74078-6028
Office Location: 225N Noble Research Center
Phone Number: 405-744-6939
Dr. Anderson was born in Utah, but was raised in rural Idaho and urban California. He received his BS in Agronomy at Brigham Young University and MS and PhD at the University of Minnesota where he conducted research on the physiology and biochemistry of nitrogen and carbon assimilation in alfalfa root nodules under the direction of Drs. Gary Heichel and Carrol Vance. As a postdoctoral scientist for the USDA at the University of Minnesota under the direction of Dr. John Grunwald Anderson investigated herbicide resistance mechanisms in atrazine resistant velvetleaf. Dr. Anderson joined the faculty at Oklahoma State University in the Plant and Soil Science Department in 1990.
Research Focus: The rhizosphere microbial community has a major impact on plant growth and development. Due to its inherent complexity, identification of elements of the community that promotes plant productivity has not been possible with precision. Estimates that plant expend 20-40% of their photosynthetic capital to sustain the microbial community clearly indicates the communities’ importance for plant growth and development.
Here we developed a new approach to identify microorganisms in the rhizosphere of wheat that are highly correlated to biomass productivity- referred to as productivity associated microorganisms. In a recently published work, Anderson and Habiger 2012 identified 42 positive and 39 negatively productivity associated rhizobacteria, determined that positive productivity associated community constituted a small fraction of the overall community abundance, and that overall wheat productivity was highly correlated to the ratio of positive to negative productivity associated organisms- underscoring their importance to the productivity relationship.
Anderson considers that plant productivity is a function of interactions between the plant and microbial genomes, currently referred to as the “hologenome” and that the microbial interaction is a major and often underappreciated player in this productivity relationship. Anderson believes that a better understanding of the diversity, composition, and factors that influences the development of the productivity associated community will lead to technologies to enhance the productivity potential of the plant-microbial system.
The current project objectives includes: 1) characterizing the rhizosphere microbial community associated with wheat productivity and development, 2) the Isolation of specific productivity associated organisms as bioinoculants for increased wheat productivity and 3) characterizing the effect of nitrogen fertilization and form on the development of the productivity associated community.
PhD: University of Minnesota, Plant Physiology 1988
MS: University of Minnesota – Agronomy 1985
BS: Brigham Young University – Agronomy 1982