5 years ago

Establishing Causality: Opportunities of Synthetic Communities for Plant Microbiome Research

Establishing Causality: Opportunities of Synthetic Communities for Plant Microbiome Research
Christine Vogel, Charlotte I. Carlström, Daniel B. Müller, Julia A. Vorholt

Plant microbiome research highlights the importance of indigenous microbial communities for host phenotypes such as growth and health. It aims to discover the molecular basis by which host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions shape and maintain microbial communities and to understand the role of individual microorganisms, as well as their collective ecosystem function. Here, we discuss reductionist approaches to disentangle the inherent complexity of interactions in situ. Experimentally tractable, synthetic communities enable testing of hypotheses by targeted manipulation in gnotobiotic systems. Modifications of microbial, host, and environmental parameters allow for the quantitative assessment of host and microbe characteristics with dynamic and spatial resolution. We summarize first insights from this emerging field and discuss current challenges and limitations. Using multifaceted approaches to detect interactions and functions will provide new insights into the fundamental biology of plant-microbe interactions and help to harness the power of the microbiome.

Publisher URL: http://www.cell.com/cell-host-microbe/fulltext/S1931-3128(17)30287-1

DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2017.07.004

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