Understanding and exploiting plant beneficial microbes

Omri M. Finkel, Gabriel Castrillo, Sur Herrera Paredes, Isai Salas González, Jeffery L. Dangl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

379 Scopus citations


After a century of incremental research, technological advances, coupled with a need for sustainable crop yield increases, have reinvigorated the study of beneficial plant–microbe interactions with attention focused on how microbiomes alter plant phenotypes. We review recent advances in plant microbiome research, and describe potential applications for increasing crop productivity. The phylogenetic diversity of plant microbiomes is increasingly well characterized, and their functional diversity is becoming more accessible. Large culture collections are available for controlled experimentation, with more to come. Genetic resources are being brought to bear on questions of microbiome function. We expect that microbial amendments of varying complexities will expose rules governing beneficial plant–microbe interactions contributing to plant growth promotion and disease resistance, enabling more sustainable agriculture.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Plant Biology
StatePublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by NSF INSPIRE grant IOS-1343020 and DOE-USDA Feedstock Award  DE-SC001043 to J.L.D. S.H.P was supported by NIH Training Grant  T32 GM067553 and was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research Fellow. J.L.D is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, supported by the HHMI and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF3030). O.M.F is supported by NIH NRSA Fellowship F32-GM117758.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors


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