The Soil-Borne Legacy.
Bakker PAHM, Pieterse CMJ, de Jonge R, Berendsen RL
Cell. Mar 2018
COMMENT: Exciting developments in high-throughput molecular analyses of the plant microbiome pinpointed enhanced nutrient uptake, improvement of root architecture, and protection of the host against biotic and abiotic stress as key functions of the microbiome. Knowledge on the mechanisms and plant genetic pathways involved provides great potential for sustainable microbiome-based improvements of our future crops.
In this "Leading Edge Commentary" at Cell, Bakker et al. propose:
In-depth insight in plant cues and traits that sculpt the soil-borne microbial legacy may emerge from carefully designed experiments in which metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, and root metabolomics approaches are combined to inform us about how plants recruit their microbiome to maximize both nutrition and defense under often harsh environmental conditions. The soil-borne legacy can then be sensibly exploited in agriculture by introducing specific microbial consortia in combination with microbiome-optimized plant genotypes that sustain their populations and activities and improve crop production with reduced input of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.