Harnessing emerging microbiome technology to improve farm productivity
Plant microbiome consists of a huge variety of microorganisms which can interact with plants in different ways. These interactions could be beneficial, harmful (pathogenic) or neutral. Beneficial microorganisms can express valuable traits promoting crop productivity, particularly under adverse biotic and abiotic conditions.
Wheat is one of the major staple foods in the world and the major grain crop in Australia based on gross value of production. However, the wheat production is currently constrained significantly by Rhizoctonia bare patch disease caused by the soil borne fungus Rhizoctonia solani AG8. Current conventional control measures exhibit limited efficacy and lead to adverse environmental impacts.
In my PhD research project, I am interested in identifying beneficial microbial communities and their traits contributing to the biocontrol of R. solani AG8 and enhanced crop productivity. I hope my effort to develop an optimized microbial control measure to manage Rhizoctonia bare patch of wheat would provide new insights for biological control of R. solani AG8 by addressing our current knowledge gaps in this field.
Dr. Catriona Macdonald, Prof. Brajesh K Singh, Dr. Juntao Wang, Dr. Bruna Batista