Selection for rare biostimulant microbes - finding the proverbial needles in the rhizosphere haystack
Soil microbiome studies have shown that the vast majority of the microbial diversity in soil is attributed to organisms that are present in low abundance - the rare biosphere. The term conditionally rare taxa (CRT) was recently coined to describe microorganisms that are typically rare, but under certain conditions rise to prominence and become influential in local ecological processes. Coupled with the complexity of the soil environment and of microbe-microbe interactions, the discovery process for organisms that may be useful in agricultural applications becomes a needle-in-the-haystack-like pursuit. BioConsortia Inc. has overcome this problem by developing a high-throughput Advanced Microbial Selection (AMS) process to rapidly screen, enrich for, and isolate rare microbes that influence plant growth. By addressing both the complexity of plant-microbe interactions and the vast genetic and physiological diversity of microbial communities, the AMS process creates an efficient way to screen and access the conditionally rare biosphere for development of biostimulant products.
Turner, S. and Meadows-Smith, H. 2016. Selection for rare biostimulant microbes - finding the proverbial needles in the rhizosphere haystack. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1148:105-108
plant microbiome, rare microbe, microbial consortia, rhizosphere, biostimulant, plant growth, selection, discovery