Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua



Bacteria are single-cell microscopic organisms that can be found in every type of environment on the planet. At Landcare Research we are interested in bacteria that are associated with natural ecosystems, such as plants, soils, and water. Bacteria from plants can be harmful pathogens such as the kiwifruit disease Psa, or helpful symbionts such as rhizobia.

Our current and recent research projects include:

  • Taxonomy of Psuedomonas including the kiwifruit pathogen Psuedomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa).
  • Taxonomy of Xanthomonas plant pathogens
  • Taxonomy of Rhizobia (Nitrogen-fixing bacteria)
  • The Bacteria and Archaea of Antarctica

Our research projects draw on the Nationally significant collection of microorganisms, the ICMP, held by Landcare Research in Auckland which holds over 9000 bacterial strains.


  • St. John MG, Orwin KH, Dickie IA 2011. No 'home' versus 'away' effects of decomposition found in a grassland-forest reciprocal litter transplant study. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 43(7): 1482-1489.
  • Young JM 2010. Taxonomy of Pseudomonas syringae. Journal of plant pathology 92(1): S5-S14.
  • Young JM, Wilkie JP, Park DC, Watson DRW 2010. New Zealand strains of plant pathogenic bacteria classified by multi-locus sequence analysis; proposal of Xanthomonas dyei sp nov. Plant pathology 59(2): 270-281.
  • Aislabie J, Jordan S, Ayton J, Klassen JL, Barker GM, Turner S 2009. Bacterial diversity associated with ornithogenic soil of the Ross Sea region, Antarctica. Canadian journal of microbiology 55(1): 21-36.
  • Young JM 2009. Legitimacy is an essential concept of the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes - a major revision of the Code is called for. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 59: 1252-1257.
  • Liefting LW, Sutherland PW, Ward LI, Paice KL, Weir BS, Clover GRG 2009. A new 'Candidatus Liberibacter' species associated with diseases of solanaceous crops. Plant disease 93(3): 208-214.
  • Liefting LW, Weir BS, Pennycook SR, Clover GRG 2009. 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum', associated with plants in the family Solanaceae. International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 59(9): 2274-2276.
  • Huang Q, Chen W, Theng BKG 2008. Role of bacteria and bacteria-soil composites in metal biosorption and remediating toxic metal-contaminated soil systems. In: Huang Q, Huang PM, Violante A ed. Soil mineral--microbe-organic interactions: theories and applications. Berlin, Springer-Verlag. Pp. 71-98.
  • Young JM 2008. An overview of bacterial nomenclature with special reference to plant pathogens. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 31(6-8): 405-424.
  • Young JM, Allen C, Coutinho T, Denny T, Elphinstone J, Fegan M, Gillings M, Gottwald TR, Graham JH, Iacobellis NS, Janse JD, Jacques MA, Lopez MM, Morris CE, Parkinson N, Prior P, Pruvost O, Neto JR, Scortichini M, Takikawa Y, Upper CD 2008. Plant-pathogenic bacteria as biological weapons - Real threats? Phytopathology 98(10): 1060-1065.
  • Young JM, Park DC, Shearman HM, Fargier E 2008. A multilocus sequence analysis of the genus Xanthomonas. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 31(5): 366-377.
  • Young JM, Park D-C 2007. Relationships of plant pathogenic enterobacteria based on partial atpD, carA, and recA as individual and concatenated nucleotide and peptide sequences. Systematic and applied microbiology 30(5): 343-345.
  • Aislabie JM, Chhour K-L, Saul DJ, Miyauchi S, Ayton J, Paetzold RF, Balks MR 2006. Dominant bacteria in soils of Marble Point and Wright Valley, Victoria Land, Antarctica. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 38(10): 3041-3056.
  • Beever RE, Johnston PR, Buchanan PK, McKenzie EHC 2006. The hidden kingdoms: fungi, lichens and some bacteria. In: Harvey B, Harvey T ed. Waitakere ranges: ranges of inspiration: nature history culture. Waitakere City, Waitakere Ranges Protection Society. Pp. 102-113.
  • Park D-C, Young JM 2006. Rapid and efficient identification protocols for Xanthomonas campestrius pv. citri for quarantine investigations. New Zealand journal of crop and horticultural science 34(3): 195-205.
  • Weir B 2006. Systematics, specificity, and ecology of New Zealand rhizobia: thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Biological Sciences Department, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. Unpublished thesis, University of Auckland, Auckland. 223 p.
  • Young JM 2004. Classification and nomenclature of plant pathogenic bacteria. In: Goodman RM ed. Encyclopedia of plant and crop science. New York, Marcel Dekker. Pp. 286-288.
  • Weir BS, Turner SJ, Silvester WB, Park D-C, Young JA 2004. Unexpectedly diverse Mesorhizobium strains and Rhizobium leguminosarum nodulate native legume genera of New Zealand, while introduced legume weeds are nodulated by Bradyrhizobium species. Applied and environmental microbiology 70(10): 5980-5987.
  • Young JM, Park D-C, Weir BS 2004. Diversity of 16S rDNA sequences of Rhizobium spp. implications for species determinations. FEMS microbiology letters 238(1): 125-131.
  • Buchanan P, Garthwaite R 2002. Fungal and bacterial systematics for biosecurity and conservation. Biosecurity 34: 7-.
  • Young JM 2001/5. Implications of alternative classifications and horizontal gene transfer for bacterial taxonomy. International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 51(Part 3): 945-953.
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