Phytobiomes Alliance Newsletter – June 2023
In this issue, you will find updates on Alliance projects, working groups, Coordinating Committee members and events.
The Alliance is organizing two workshops at the upcoming International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP) in Lyon (France) in August, and is currently putting together the webinar schedule for fall 2023.
We also secured exclusive discounts for participation at several international events bringing together industry and academics experts in indoor farming and biostimulants. Do not hesitate to take advantage of these discounts.
Projects and Activities
- Novel Microbiome Technologies to Increase Profitability for Australian Horticulture (Funded by Hort Innovation, Australia)
The project started in March 2022 under the leadership of Kirsty Bayliss (Murdoch University, Australia), in collaboration with Hort Innovation Australia, the Cooperative Research Centre for Future Food Systems, Thinkbio, Melville Park, and the Phytobiome Alliance.
The first phase of the project – a situation analysis – was completed in October 2022. The project is now in phase two, where the focus is on identifying suitable locations for field trials and demonstration sites. Field studies of three biological products have started on two plots of tomatoes and one avocado plantation. Project page
- Genome Sequence-Based Classification System for Microbes (funded by the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service – APHIS).
The second phase of the Alliance-coordinated project started in July 2022 with a goal of complementing and extending results from the phenotypic and genomic research obtained in the first phase of the project (2019-2021). The purpose of this new project is to precisely circumscribe the authentically threatening Ralstonia solanacearum (Rs) strains that are highly aggressive on potato at cool temperatures using a combination of phenotypic assays and bioinformatics to develop diagnostic markers that reliably and specifically identify these threatening strains. The project will be completed in 2023 and manuscripts, covering both phases, are currently in preparation. Project pages: 1st phase – 2nd phase
- United States Culture Collection Network (funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation – NSF)
The five-year Alliance-coordinated project started in April 2022. It brings together scientists working with laboratory-based living collections of microbes.
USCCN objectives for the next five-year is to build relationships with current and new sources of culture and living collections and to engage scientists across multiple disciplines to work toward addressing challenges and needs shared by all microbial collection managers and users as well as scientists who have small research collections. Project Page
New Coordinating Committee Members
We are pleased to welcome:
- Soledad Benitez Ponce, Ohio State University
- Kirsten Benjamin, new representative for Pivot Bio
- Joseph Cammack, representing FarmBox Foods
Alliance Working Groups
- Regulatory Working Group: Chaired by Tammy Zimmer (Ginkgo Bioworks) – This group monitors regulatory activities in Asia, Australia, Europe, the UK, and the USA; comments on proposed regulatory actions to encourage science-based regulations; identifies gaps, opportunities, and priorities to accelerate regulatory approvals of microbial products through the development of scientific knowledge; and works with regulatory agencies, industry, and academic institutions to establish research projects and increase knowledge about regulations.
- Microbiome Working Group: Chaired by Ann Lichens-Park (Eversole Associates) – The working group is focused on identifying plant and soil microbiomes research priorities within the broader phytobiomes context. Stay tuned as the working group is and is in the process of developing a perspective article on advances and future opportunities in this field.
- Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Working Group: Chaired by Trevor Charles (University of Waterloo) and Soledad Benitez Ponce (Ohio State University) – The group currently is identifying challenges and opportunities within CEA and the pain points within the industry that limits the ability to expand beyond leafy greens production.
- Animal Microbiomes Working Group: This group is forming now and is focused on linking phytobiomes research with One Health principles related to animal microbiomes and the opportunities to improve animal nutrition and health through better feed, forage, and fodder.
- For a round-up of the Alliance activities last year, read the Phytobiomes Alliance 2022 Annual Report
- On 9 May 2023, the Alliance welcomed a new sponsor: FarmBox Foods. Read the press release
- On 28 March 2023, the Alliance announced its partnership with the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS). The partnership will enable both organizations to engage in discussions and dialogue on key global issues related to animal science and phytobiomes research. Read the press release
The alliance is organizing two satellite workshops at the International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP) that will take place in Lyon, France. We put together an exciting line-up of speakers and talks and are looking forward to seeing you there.
- 20 August 2023 – Morning – Harnessing Culture Collections for Improved Plant Health
- 20 August 2023 – Afternoon – Phytobiomes Research for Plant Health
You can register to these workshops on the ICPP2023 website.
The Alliance organized three workshops in the past months:
- March 2023: One Health, Phytobiomes and Animal Science– British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) Conference 2023
- January 2023: Exploring Phytobiomes – Plant and Animal Genome Conference, San Diego, CA, USA
- January 2023: The Uniqueness and Commonalities Between Plant, Animal and Soil Microbiomes – Plant and Animal Genome Conference, San Diego, CA, USA
Alliance Webinar Series
- 6 July 2023 – Selectively changing the microbiome of the rhizosphere, presented by Karsten Zengler (University of California, San Diego, USA)
We are currently putting together the webinar schedule for the fall of 2023. If you would like to present your work or suggest topics or speakers for upcoming webinars, please contact us.
All webinars are free to attend and are scheduled at 11am Eastern, U.S. Time. Recordings are posted subsequently to the Alliance YouTube channel. Subscribe to the channel to never miss an upload.
Past webinars (since the last issue of the newsletter)
- Drivers of microbial community composition in hydroponic leafy green production
- Scientific collaboration in interdisciplinary and international settings
- A walk on the wild side: novel insights into the genetics of host-microbiota interactions in the barley rhizosphere
- Kick-off Webinar & Discussion on the Need for a Specimen Management Plan Requirement
Upcoming phytobiome-related events
- 29-30 June – Indoor AgTech Innovation Summit, New York, USA
- 12-13 July – US Biostimulants Summit 2023, Raleigh, NC, USA
- 12-16 August – Plant Health 2023, Denver, CO, USA
- 20-25 August – 12th International Congress of Plant Pathology, Lyon, France
- 24-25 October – Partnership in Biocontrol, Biostimulant & Microbiome Congress: USA, Raleigh, NC, USA
For updates, check the event calendar on the website.
If you are aware of an event on phytobiome-related topics and if that event is not listed on the website, please let us know.
We developed a set of standard slides about phytobiomes, the Alliance, its goals and priorities. Contact us if you wish to receive those slides in PowerPoint format to add to your presentations.
Indoor AgTech Innovation Summit
29-30 June 2023 | New York, USA
Make sure the dates are in your diary for the upcoming Indoor AgTech Innovation Summit taking place in New York on June 29-30, 2023.
Over 700 CEA industry leaders will gather at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square to sample delicious indoor grown produce, discover emerging new crop varieties and enjoy dynamic debates, high-level networking and a cocktail reception.
Receive 10% discount on the in-person registration rate by using the code PBA10.
US Biostimulants Summit 2023
12-13 July 2023 | Raleigh, NC, USA
The Biostimulants Summit 2023 will bring together leading executives and experts from across the entire value chain (producers of biostimulant and plant nutrient products, farmers and agriculture suppliers, technology providers, research institutes & government representatives) for two days of informative presentations, interactive discussion & excellent networking opportunities.
Receive 15% discount on the registration rate with the code CBSn5Rohan until the end of the month (05/31/2023) After that date, use the same code to receive a 10% discount until the start of the conference (07/11/2023).
For any questions or for alternate payment options, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Phytobiomes Alliance is sponsored by Eversole Associates, INRAE, Valent BioSciences, Colorado State University, FarmBox Foods, IRD, Joyn Bio, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NewLeaf Symbiotics, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, Pivot Bio, Trace Genomics, the Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research, Aphea.Bio, and AIT Austrian Institute of Technology.