Crop Biotech Update

Scientists to Study Bacterial Communities in Plant Roots

November 21, 2012

The European Research Council has approved a grant for the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Germany to study the structure, function and evolution of plant root-inhabiting bacterial communities. These bacterial communities, also called root microbiota, are selected by plant roots from the surrounding soil biome.

Preliminary evidence suggests that root microbiota members promote both plant growth and plant health. The former beneficial function is likely mediated by the mobilization of soil-borne nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphate for uptake by plant roots. The latter function is thought to be mediated by microbiota members that provide indirect protection against colonization by soil-borne microbial plant pathogens, including fungi.

For more information, check the Max Planck Institute's news release at http://www.mpipz.mpg.de/334569/ERC_Research_Grant.