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Natural crop trait enhancement with microbial teams

| August 22, 2014
Susan Turner, Principal Scientist and Marcus Meadows-Smith, Chief Executive Officer.

Susan Turner, Principal Scientist and Marcus Meadows-Smith, Chief Executive Officer.

In a world that is facing rapid population growth, global climate volatility, and increasing environmental damage, revolutionary crop protection methods and production models are an urgent necessity. In recent years, microbial solutions have garnered much interest and research for this purpose. Several microbial products have proven effective for protecting crops and increasing yields, thereby adding to the growers’ arsenal of fertilizers, crop protection chemistry, seeds and traits.

New insights into plant-microbe interactions.

New DNA-sequencing techniques, similar to those used for analyzing the human gut microbiome, are now being used to analyze the microbiomes of major crops. These crop microbiomes are likened to ‘second genomes’ because they interact with and supplement the functions encod- ed by the crop genome. Like the microbes in the gut, these interactions can result in benign, beneficial, or even harmful effects on the plant. Through technology advances, it has now become possible to identify and harness the beneficial interactions of plant-microbial genetic variability to improve crop production.

This is a preview of a full article published in International Pest Control – July/August 2014 issue.

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Authors: Dr. Susan Turner & Holly Meadows-Smith – BioConsortia Inc., Davis, California.

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Category: Agriculture, Special features