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Euan James

Staff picture: Euan James
Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Research Assistant
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK


I completed my PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Dundee in 1990, and then over the next 10 years worked as a consultant in Brazil and the Philippines where I specialised in the localisation of N-fixing bacteria in sugarcane and rice using electron microscopy.

During my time in Brazil I also gained a strong interest in the legume-rhizobial symbioses, particularly their role in tropical ecosystems and agriculture, and co-wrote a NERC-funded project at the University of St Andrews on the functioning of legume symbioses in the Brazilian Pantanal wetlands.

My position prior to joining the James Hutton Institute was as an electron microscopist at the University of Dundee College of Life Sciences, where I also acted as Principal Investigator on a NERC-funded project “In search of beta-rhizobia: exploring the symbionts of Mimosa in Brazil.”

Current research interests

Plant electron microscopy: the ultrastructure of beneficial plant-bacterial interactions. I also specialise in immunolocalisation of both conventionally (chemically)- and cryo-fixed plant material.

Nitrogen fixation by legumes: Currently measuring biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) by field beans (Vicia faba) in an experimental rotation at the Centre for Sustainable Cropping (CSC), Balruddery Farm. This work is funded by the EU FP7 project Legume Futures.

Nitrogen fixation by non-legumes: I have recently edited a Special Issue of Plant and Soil on The role of biological nitrogen fixation by non-legumes in the sustainable production of food and biofuels. It includes 20 papers that were presented at the 12th International Symposium on Biological Nitrogen Fixation (BNF) with Non-Legumes which was held in Buzios, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 3-8 October 2010.

Past research

Identified the nature of the O2 regulation mechanism in legume nodules using electron microscopy.

Identified the mechanisms that allow flooding-tolerant legumes to fix N whilst flooded in both tropical and temperate ecosystems.

Confirmed the endophytic nature of several species of N-fixing bacteria in sugarcane and rice using light and electron microscopy.

Showed that a completely “new” (actually ancient) type of symbiont existed in legume nodules in tropical ecosystems that was unrelated to Rhizobium. These symbionts are now termed “Beta-rhizobia”.


Printed from /staff/euan-james on 31/05/23 01:02:26 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.