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Research areas

Research areas addressed in this Priority Programme:

Ecological and molecular mechanisms of community establishment, community dynamics, including disease resistance and resilience, and microbial physiology in a community context. Goals are:

  • To identify keystone species and key processes involved in the assembly of plant microbiota
  • To test the contribution of plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions to community assembly and microbiota-influenced host traits
  • To test assembly of plant microbiota under a broad range of environmental conditions in controlled experiments
  • To identify mechanisms underlying plant-microbiota resilience to genetic, nutritional and/or environmental perturbations
  • To elucidate processes by which plants discriminate between pathogens and beneficial microbes in a community context
  • To establish how variation in innate immunity recognition and signalling influences microbial community structure and function
  • To test whether microbe-microbe interactions and community patterns observed in simplified systems are reflected in observations from natural or agricultural systems

Collective toolkit development. Goals are:

  • To expand the toolkit for computational pipelines for meta-genomics, meta-transcriptomics, network construction and genome mining
  • To expand the toolkit for examining responses to biotic and abiotic stresses
  • To establish plant and microbial mutant libraries for mechanistic studies