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Dr. Riitta Nissinen
Academy Researcher

Department of Biological and Environmental Science
P.O. Box 35, FIN-40014
University of Jyväskylä, Finland

e-mail: riitta.m.nissinen(at)
tel. +358 (0)40 8053274
mobile +358 (0)50 3592729
fax +358 (0)14 260 2321

We are interested in the diversity and functioning of plant associated bacterial communities in the Arctic. In particular, our research focuses on the endophytic bacterial communities of Oxyria digyna,  but we also study several other arcto-alpine plant species, including Saxifraga oppositifolia, Diapensia lapponica and Dryas octopetala.  In a related project, we also investigate endophytes of Deschampsia flexuosa. We combine molecular methods (Ion Torrent community sequencing and community fingerprinting) and culture-dependent approaches (bacterial isolation and characterization, as well as microcosmos studies with micropropagated plants and synthetic bacterial communities)  in order to elucidate the phylogenetic and functional diversity of these bacterial communities.

To find out more, visit our research pages and meet the people involved

Endophytic bacteria from Oxyria digyna can be used to fight storage rot in potatoes - as they are happy and active at low temperatures. Paper by Iman Hadizadeh is freshly out in Plant Pathology:

Dickeya biocontrol

We are excited to start microbe hunt!  We will explore forest plant microbiomes
with seven participating high schools from Finland 2017-2018, funded by Finnish Cultural Foundation. Find out more here and here.

lukiolaiset mikrobimetsassa


Interested in plant-microbe interactions and/or molecular biology? We have Master's Thesis projects on 1. microbiome contribution to plant adaptation to Arctic, 2. alternative nitrogen aquisition strategies of Dryas octopetala and 3. arctic Sphingomonas bacteria available
For more information, contact
Manoj ( or
Riitta (

If none of the proposed projects sounds attractive, but if you are interested in Arctic and/or plant microbiomes, come and talk with us!