Monday, June 08, 2020

living on leaves

It is now widely known and appreciated that the bacteria in our guts are making an important contribution to our metabolism and wellbeing. Similarly, we are aware that the space around plant roots, the rhizosphere, is hosting a whole network of organisms interacting with the plant and with each other.

What is relatively new, however, and was completely new to me, is that plants also have a microbiome above ground, and that this may be as crucial to their health as the one below ground. This isn't quite as comprehensively understood yet, but a few studies have emerged recently, which I have had a look at for my latest feature, which is out now:

Life on plants

Current Biology Volume 30, Issue 11, 8 June 2020, Pages R617-R619

Restricted access to full text and PDF download

(will become open access one year after publication)

Magic link for free access

(first seven weeks only)

Experiments with tomato plants grown under controlled conditions have shown that they favour a core leaf microbiome among the wider diversity of environmental microbes. (Photo: _Alicja_/Pixabay.)

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