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The growing human population requires increasing amounts of food, but modern agriculture has limited possibilities for increasing yields. New crop varieties may be bred to have increased yields and be more resistant to environmental stress and pests. However, they still require fertilization to supplement essential nutrients that are normally limited in the soil. Soil microorganisms present an opportunity to reduce the requirement for inorganic fertilization in agriculture. Microorganisms, due to their enormous genetic pool, are also a potential source of biochemical reactions that recycle essential nutrients for plant growth. Microbes that associate with plants can be considered to be part of the plant's pan-genome. Therefore, it is essential for us to understand microbial community structure and their 'metagenome' and how it is influenced by different soil types and crop varieties. In the future we may be able to modify and better utilize the soil microbiota potential for promoting plant growth.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/jxb/erv157

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Exp Bot

Publication Date

04/2015

Volume

66

Pages

2167 - 2175

Keywords

Endophytes, metagenomics, microbiota, plant productivity, plant–microbe interactions, rhizosphere., Metagenomics, Microbiota, Mycorrhizae, Plant Development, Plant Root Nodulation, Plant Roots