Plants have recently been recognized as meta-organisms due to a close symbiotic relationship with their microbiome. Comparable to humans and other eukaryotic hosts, plants also harbor a “second genome” that fulfills important host functions. These advances were driven by both “omics”-technologies guided by next-generation sequencing and microscopic insights. Additionally, these new results influence applied fields such as biocontrol and stress protection in agriculture, and new tools may impact (i) the detection of new bio-resources for biocontrol and plant growth promotion,(ii) the optimization of fermentation and formulation processes for biologicals,(iii) stabilization of the biocontrol effect under field conditions, and (iv) risk assessment studies for biotechnological applications. Examples are presented and discussed for the fields mentioned above, and next-generation bio-products were found as a sustainable alternative for agriculture.
Fields of Expertise