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February 8th, 2018 / University of Toronto, Canada

Just as the micro-organisms in our gut are increasingly recognized as important players in human health and behaviour, micro-organisms are critical to the growth and health of plants, a new study by a University of Toronto researcher has found.

For example, plants that are able to recruit particular bacteria to their root microbiomes are much more drought resistant, says Connor Fitzpatrick, a PhD candidate in the department of biology at U of T Mississauga.

The plant’s root microbiome is the unique community of micro-organisms living in and on plant roots. Similar to the gut microbiome in animal species, the root microbiome is the interface between a plant and the world. The root microbiome is responsible for important functions such as nutrient uptake and signals important to plant development. Read more