Signaling in the phytoMicrobiome

Virtually every plant part is colonized by microorganisms, including bacteria, archaea, and fungi, collectively designated as the plant–Microbiome or phyto Microbiome.

Microorganisms are a key component of the plant, often inextricable from their host and the plant–Microbiome is thought to function as a meta-organism or holobiont. Over the last few decades, we have learned that plants and microbes can use molecular signals to communicate. This is well-established for the legume-rhizobia nitrogen-fixing symbiosis and reasonably elucidated for mycorrhizal associations. Bacteria within the phytomircobiome communicate among themselves through quorum sensing and other mechanisms. Plants also detect materials produced by potential pathogens and activate pathogen-response systems. This intercommunication dictates aspects of plant development, architecture, and productivity.

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