Phosphorus (P) is one of the major essential macronutrients required for plant growth and food production. Crop yield on 40%~60% of the world's arable land is limited by P availability. However, due to the high fixation capacity of soil and inactivation of the applied phosphorus in soil, immobilization and precipitation results in scarcity of available phosphorus to plants. Using phosphate solubilizing microorganisms (PSM) to promote plant growth can be a promising strategy for sustainable food production in the future. However, many studies have indicated that the mechanisms seen in vitro do not translate into improved crop P nutrition in complex soil-plant systems. There are still some challenging questions needed to be answered before using PSMs as effective biofertilizers in soil conditions. State-of-the-art approaches like the high-throughput screening method and metagenomic analysis should be encouraged to facilitate the PSM’s application. This project aims at identifying and engineering phosphate solubilizing microorganisms and deciphering the mechanism of phosphate solubilization during plant-microbe interactions. For example, 1) use a high-throughput method to identify PSMs; 2) screen more than 3000 bacterial strains and 400 fungal strains to decipher their taxonomy evolutionary relationships and investigate the specificity of PSMs in solubilizing different insoluble phosphates; 3) use mutant libraries screen and metagenomic analysis to explore the phosphate solubilizing mechanisms. 4) investigate how plant root exudates influence microbiome assembly in P-limiting conditions; 5) optimize synthetic phosphate-solubilizing communities to promote plant growth (Arabidopsis thaliana, Lotus japonicas) and food production (Glycine max) in P-limiting soil. The outcome of this project will provide new insight into nutrient-mediated regulation of plant-microbe interactions and facilitates the development of biofertilizers in the field of nutrient supply.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.2 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Main Programme