DEVELOPING DISEASE SUPPRESSIVE PHYLLOSPHERE MICROBIOMES THROUGH APPLIED ECOLOGY

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Effectively managing plant microbial diseases continues to be an important priority worldwide toensure an adequate supply of safe and nutritious food. Historically, chemical controls, such asantibiotics or fixed copper compounds, have been heavily relied upon to manage foliar bacterialdiseases. However, sustained use of a chemical controls has resulted in the emergence of resistanceto multiple chemical agents in pathogen population, thus negating their effectiveness. Biologicalcontrols, where a live organism or product derived from a live organism is applied, have been usedas alternatives to chemical antimicrobials, however, biocontrols typically exhibit highlyinconsistent results from region to region and between growing seasons, which has limited theirpotential as reliable disease management options. The proposed research will investigate thepotential for developing a whole microbial community-based approach to manage crop foliardiseases. This research seeks to translate our understanding of naturally occurring suppressive soils,which are able to reduce the impacts of soil-borne pathogens, into the phyllosphere environment.Preliminary data from our group suggests this is possible. Specifically, this research will test 1)whether suppressive communities can be developed for two distinct bacterial pathogens that infecttomato foliar tissues tomato, 2) how ecological conditions affect the emergence and strength ofthese communities, 3) how specific the suppression is for each community, and 4) which specificmicrobial taxa contribute to disease suppression. This research has the potential to improve ourability to control foliar plant diseases using an environmentally sustainable approach.

StatusActive
Effective start/end date5/1/234/30/27

Funding

  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $850,000.00

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