rhizosphere composes a nutrient-rich niche, with dense and diverse microbial
populations. The rhizosphere microbiota and its functioning are greatly
affected by environmental physical and chemical conditions as well as by the
plant genotype. This, in turn, may lead to beneficial or detrimental outcomes
like plant growth increase and plant protection or to disease, respectively.
The aim of this project is to develop plant growth promoting rhizobacteria,
including biocontrol agents (PGPR) and implementation procedures, including
through controlled irrigation systems. The project will exploit the ability to
introduce and track specific microorganisms and their effects in the
rhizosphere to develop novel approaches to growth promotion and disease
control. We'll also make use of novel technologies to characterize the root
microbiota under changing conditions. The project will concentrate on important
crops like tomato and potato, and on novel grafts developed in the grafting project,
including approaches of environmental monitoring developed in the monitoring project.
strains of Azospirillum and Paenibacillus as well as novel
strains isolated by us and showing PGP potential will be tested on the
different crops under various conditions, including creating inoculation
complexes with the predatory bacteria Bdellovibrio and like organisms and
testing their effects on plant growth and health. Finally, by applying novel
sequencing technologies we'll track how the root microbiota and its genetic
potential change under fluctuating conditions. This project is expected to
1. Novel approaches for PGP, leading to novel PGPR.
of beneficial microbial profiles, i.e. novel markers for a healthy rhizosphere.
3. Implementation procedures for novel PGPR through the irrigation system.