Plant-associated microbiomes confer fitness advantages to the plant host by growth promotion through different mechanisms including nutrient uptake, phytohormones production, resistance to pathogens, and stress tolerance.
Synthetic Communities of Bacterial Endophytes to Improve the Quality and Yield of Legume Crops
These effects of the potentially beneficial microbes have been used in a diversity of biotechnological approaches to improve crop performance applying individual bacterial cultures. However, healthy plants host a diversity of microorganisms (microbiota). Next-generation sequencing technologies have offered insights into the relative abundances of different phylogenetic groups in a community and the metabolic and physiological potential of its members. In the last decade, researchers have started to explore the possibilities to use temporal and functional combinations of those bacteria in the form of synthetic communities. In this chapter, we review the benefits of using endophytic bacteria in legumes, the available methodological approaches to study the effects of bacterial communities, and the most recent findings using synthetic communities to improve the performance of legume crops.
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