Crop-soil microbiome interactions for plant nutrition and crop yield: Plants have a complex association with soil microbiomes that are beneficial for plant growth, nutrition, stress tolerance and antagonize plant pathogens (Figure 2). For sustainable agricultural production, understanding of plant and microbiome interaction is crucial. The CEGSB would be studying the structure and diversity of the root microbiota by using whole genome sequencing of microbiota from rhizosphere, rhizoplane, nodule, and bulk soil from three geographical locations of India (if possible from Kenya / Ethiopia also). The sequencing data resulting from metagenomics from these locations would be analyzed for assessing the functional diversity of genotype-specific environmental microbial communities. In addition, transcriptome profiling of roots and productivity traits of the select genotypes will also be generated to study the functional association between root microbiota, root transcriptome and productivity traits. This Research Module will have close collaboration with pathologists, microbiologists and virologists from Crop Management Themes of RP- Asia, RP- ESA and RP-WCA of ICRISAT and other partners.
- Identification of the genotypes that would be able to modify the structure and activity of the microbial community of rhizosphere for enhanced crop productivity.
- Understanding ideal structure and diversity of the rhizosphere microbiota that would enhance bio-availability of the micro- and macro-nutrients to the crop, and
- Understanding the role of species-specific microbial community for providing adaptive advantage to plant under stress (for instance drought)
- Understanding of the interactions between microbes and the host plant would provide a valuable knowledge for sustainable agriculture in semi-arid tropics.