Dr. Milko Jorquera Tapia
Dr. Jorquera is graduated from Osaka University (Japan) with formation in the fields of microbial ecology and environmental microbiology. Currently, Dr. Jorquera act as head at the Applied Microbial Ecology (AME) laboratory, previously as part of Laboratory of Biotechnology in Natural Resources from La Frontera University. The main objective of AME laboratory is contribute to our knowledge on plant-associated microbiome present in Chilean agro-ecosystems (pastures, cereal crops and fruit orchards) and extreme ecosystems (Atacama Desert, Andes mountains, Patagonia and Antarctic). The research activities of AME laboratory are mainly focused i) to elucidate the role of microbial communities in soil nutrient cycling and their influence on plant growth, ii) to decipher the diversity and dynamics of microorganisms in Chilean agro-ecosystems and extreme ecosystems affected by climate and anthropogenic-induced changes, iii) to characterize the genetic- and biochemical mechanisms involved in the plant-microbe interactions and their environment, and iv) to develop fertilization and soil management strategies based on genetic and metabolic potential of microorganisms in their natural habitat. The studies carried out at the AME laboratory are characterized by using a wide variety of molecular techniques, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), quantitative PCR (qPCR), enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC-PCR) and recently high throughput sequencing (e.g., Illumina platform). As results of these studies, diverse native isolates have been collected and selected either from agro-ecosystem and extreme ecosystems and used to develop microbial consortia to improve the nutrient-uptake, growth and stress tolerance of plants (mainly wheat and avocado seedlings) under laboratory, greenhouse and field conditions. During his career, the Dr. Jorquera have also acquired academic experience as responsible of courses (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics, Environmental and Applied Microbiology, and Innovation) as well as training and supervision of under-graduate and post-graduate students.