Dept. of Integrative Biology
Title: Harnessing the plant phyllosphere as a model microbiome and towards sustainable agriculture
Abstract: There is great interest in manipulating, supplementing, or re-seeding the plant microbiome. Given the wealth of data accumulating on plant microbiomes above and below ground from natural and agricultural systems, there is reason to be optimistic that we might be close to achieving this goal. However, the ecological complexity that exists from within microbiomes to between the host and its microbiome to the larger community context in which the plants resides makes translating correlational data from the field or experimental manipulations from the greenhouse a grand challenge. In this talk I will discuss how we can use existing theory and data to build predictions about if and how plant microbiome manipulations will work, and then raise a number of open questions that must be addressed before the full potential of this approach can be realized.
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