Cara Haney

Assistant Professor


Research Area

Our lab is interested in the genetic and metabolic factors that regulate the assembly of host-associated microbial communities (“microbiomes”). The plant root (“rhizosphere”) microbiome is an ideal model for the study of host-microbiome associations:

  1. Plants can be grown with exposed roots, which allows for real time, non-invasive monitoring of microbial growth,
  2. Plants receive benefit from their microbiota including pathogen protection and increased nutrient availability, and
  3. Roots are naturally colonized by well-studied “model” bacteria including Bacillus, Pseudomonas and Streptomyces spp.

We use genetic and molecular approaches combined with high-throughput assays and next generation sequencing to probe the interface of the rhizosphere microbiome with the model plant Arabidopsis. Current and ongoing projects include identifying plant and bacterial genes that shape the rhizosphere community and determining how microbiomes affect plant health and development.

Research Questions

  1. How do pathogenic microbes cause disease?
  2. How do plants interact with their microbiome?
  3. Can we harness the microbiome to improve agricultural sustainability?

Research Keywords

Biochemistry, biotechnology, bioinformatics, biological imaging, genomics, immunology, systems biology, evolution, infectious disease, microbiome, agriculture, microbial pathogenesis, plant biology, food security

To learn more about the Haney Lab, please visit haneylab.msl.ubc.ca.