The objective of this project is to develop and deploy new microbiome-based products that increase the yield and therefore profitability of annual and perennial Australian horticultural crops, including those under protected cropping. The products will be developed by analysing the microbiomes associated with the life cycle of the crop, from seed to harvest. In particular, we will assess how these microbiomes change when exposed to biotic or abiotic stresses. Our aim is to select consortia of microorganisms that are associated with crops that exhibit higher tolerance to these stresses, and develop these into new products that increase crop yield.
The project comprises three research activities:
This project represents the first phase of what we anticipate will be a long-term partnership with the Australian horticultural industry. This first phase is designed to demonstrate that assessing the plant microbiome with advanced computational technologies is a valid method for discovery of microbial consortia and development of microbiome-based products. It will also showcase the improvements in crop productivity and likely commercial viability of selected products. Beyond this phase we will transfer the technology to a broader range of horticultural crops, including nuts and legumes, and focus on commercialisation of validated microbial consortia. The outcome of this project is measurable increases in horticulture crop productivity, arising from uptake of new microbiome-based products.
Kellye Eversole (Phytobiomes Alliance)
Giles Hardy, Treena Burgess, Richard Bell (Murdoch University)
David Doepel and Barbara Connell (Melville Park)
Angela Sessitsch (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology)
Ann Hirsch (University of California, Los Angeles)
Patrick Brown (University of California, Davis)