Goals for PhytobiomesTechnical Needs Translational Outcomes
  1. Define who is present and the relationships of phytobiome composition to plant productivity.
  • ​High throughput community profiling, phenotypic and environmental profiling, and metagenomics analyses
  • Efficient approaches for meta-analyses of large numbers of genomic datasets
  • Databases
  • ​Identify characteristics of healthy vs. nonadaptive phytobiomes
  • Define core phytobiomes associated with consistent plant productivity, specific to distinct environments
  • Determine targets for inoculant development, or for populations to suppress disease
  1. Identify key drivers of phytobiome composition and dynamics.
  • ​Extensive correlative data and systematic experimental data from diverse habitats and environmental conditions
  • Efficient approaches for integration and analysis of complex community data across diverse systems
  • ​Identify potential suite(s) of facotrs that may be targeted by field management
  1. Determine the functional capacities of individual taxa and simple communities to alter plant productivity.
  • ​High-throughput plant phenotyping, including root systems
  • High-throughput, in vivo/in planta microbial functional analyses and transcriptomics
  • ​Identify potential inoculant or inoculant mixtures
  • Identify unexpected functional outcomes, and correlates of unexpected outcomes (e.g. taxonomic or functional characteristics of individual taxa or combinations of taxa that lead to better-than-expected, or poorer-than-expected, plant outcomes)
  1. Characterize the emergent properties of phytobiomes.
  • ​System-biology approaches for analysis and prediction of complex community effects on individual microbial properties/phenotypes and on plant phenotypes
  • High-throughput microbial and plant transcriptomics
  • ​Develop core principles for designing optimal synthetic microbiomes for maximizing plant productivity
  1. Design novel approaches for managing phytobiomes to optimize plant productivity.
  • ​Efficient, reproducible, high-throughput field testing platforms
  • ​Integrate information from goals A-D to propose broad-based management solutions for agriculture

All goals should be accomplished for diverse plant hosts across a broad range of habitats and environmental conditions, and every goal addresses multiple specific questions.