The Future of Soil Research for Sustainable Agricultural Systems
October 26th, 2017
Report from Laura McIntosh, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Development
Understanding the positive ecological interactions that promote plant growth is an important field of study as we attempt to feed a hungry world. The rhizosphere, or plant root system, hosts an enormous array of microbes--the plant microbiome--that have numerous beneficial effects on plants. A recent review article published by researchers from the University of Cologne in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science focuses on understanding plant-microbe interactions.
The highly detailed piece brings together studies performed by numerous reputable sources to synthesize the current knowledge on such topics as how plant root exudates are a source of molecular signals, using sequence data to predict microbial effects on plant nutrients, and different ways to model plant-microbe interactions. Ultimately, the authors conclude that obtaining a better understanding of plant-microbe interactions will inform the optimal design of microbial communities for more sustainable agricultural systems. Despite the copious amount of research on the topic, much is still unknown about plant nutrition on a microbial level. Read the entire article here.