Plant-microbiome interactions in modern and ancient barley

Modern plant breeding has yielded crop genotypes that need precise anthropogenic chemical control, thereby largely neglecting that the rhizosphere microbiome can protect against diseases and promote plant nutrient availability and uptake.

In the DFF-FNU project: Plant-microbiome interactions in modern and ancient barley, we will assess the extent of the plant-microbiome interactions between 6 varieties of barley (3 modern & 3 ancient) and 9 different microbiomes under 3 different nutrient regimes. We will investigate to which extent modern varieties have lost the ability to interact with the microbiome with focus on plant/bacteria/eukaryotic micro-grazer interactions. We expect that sequencing of the root/leaf transcriptome will reveal genes and pathways involved in these interactions. In parallel, we will sequence the microbiome and perform multi-element analyses to capture the dynamics of the interactions. Our results will be a significant contribution to the understanding of the role of the microbiome in modern plant production.

The project is a collaboration between Flemming Ekelund, Department of Biology (BIO), Kristian Holst Laursen, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN), Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Mette Vestergård Madsen, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University and Rute da Fonseca, Globe Institute, Faculty of Health, University of Copenhagen.

The project is funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark with DKK 6,191,336.