Bilateral BBSRC - Embrapa - Exploitation of the rhizosphere microbiome for sustainable wheat production

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Bilateral BBSRC - Embrapa - Exploitation of the rhizosphere microbiome for sustainable wheat production

The aim of this project is to perform a novel and unique study of the wheat rhizosphere microbiome to identify the optimum composition of beneficial microbes and interactions that could be reinstated into a cutting-edge crop-soil management system to sustainably increase wheat production. In the proposed project, we bring together a multi-disciplinary team in the UK and Brazil with skills in advanced molecular techniques, metagenomics, microbiology, microbial ecology, manipulative experimentation, bioinformatics and wheat biochemistry to determine the relative importance of factors that control rhizosphere microbiome composition, as well as function, and link this to crop health and yield. We propose the following specific objectives: O1 - Determine the relative importance of crop plant genotype, edaphic factors, climate as well as farming management practices in shaping wheat rhizosphere microbiome composition. O2 - Assess whether ancestral wheat plants are better able to recruit and sustain more beneficial microbial interactions in the rhizosphere than cultivated wheat plants. O3 - Establish whether the root exudation profiles of ancestral and cultivated wheat differ and whether key metabolites are associated with recruitment of beneficial microbial taxa into rhizosphere microbiomes. O4 - Determine how changes in rhizosphere microbiome structure, influence plant growth and health to sustainably increase wheat production.

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