Science: Rewilding plant microbiomes


Jos Raaijmakers (NIOO-KNAW) and Toby Kiers (VU) have published a Perspective Insights article in Science (Volume 378, Issue 6620): Rewilding plant microbiomes - Microbiota of crop ancestors may offer a way to enhance sustainable food production.


Over the past decade, research has shown that microorganisms living on and inside eukaryotes—the microbiota—are drivers of host health. For plants, microbiota can greatly expand their genomic capabilities by enhancing immunity, nutrient acquisition, and tolerance to environmental stresses. More than ever, plant microbiota are being considered as a lever to increase the sustainability of food production under a changing climate. Emerging from this global interest to harness the largely unexplored functional potential of microbiota, the microbiome rewilding hypothesis posits that plant and animal health can be improved by reinstating key members of the diverse (ancestral) microbiota that were lost through domestication and industrialization processes, including changes in diet, plant and animal breeding, and the (over)use of antibiotics, pesticides, and fertilizers.

Read the full article here.