Scientists enlist bioinformatics to reconstruct a plant disease-suppressing microbial community

November 07, 2019
Emerging Ecosystems in Agrifood and Health More...
by Joshua Haslun
Very important

Analyzing the root metagenomes of sugar beets inhabiting disease-suppressive and disease-conducive soils to the root pathogen R. solani, the research identifies taxonomic units associated with disease suppression. The group leveraged bioinformatics (Genentech) to identify key microbial groups and overrepresented genes and sequenced the genomes of isolates. Leveraging this information, the team reconstructed a consortium of microbes from Flavobacterium and Chitinophaga that inhibited R. solani infections. The work supports leveraging bioinformatics and omics to elucidate key microbial connections associated with plant phenotypes (in this case, disease suppression) and as a key technology for achieving agriculture sustainability initiatives.

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