CORDIS - EU research results

StRategies fOr iMproving Agronomic practices based oN miCrobiomEs.

Project description

Improving crop yield through the understanding of microbiome interactions

Plants host a diverse community of microorganisms which are collectively known as their microbiome. Numerous studies highlight the important role of microbiomes as well as of bacterial strains and isolates in improving plant growth and stress resilience. However, little is known regarding the interaction between the different members of a microbiome in a plant and the interaction between microbiomes of diverse crops. The EU-funded ROMANCE project plans to determine the core microbiomes and their associated functions that are common between the crops in each cropping system. The project's findings will pave the way for the design of an adapted biofertiliser based on native bacterial communities that will improve crop yield and protect against quarantine organisms.


Plants live in association with a plethora of microorganisms, which constitute the plant microbiome. The management of this microbiome, boosting the presence of functionally relevant bacterial taxa, will improve the plant growth and development and enhance the yields of crops, which turns of paramount importance for feeding a constantly increasing World population. The selection of a determinate agronomic practice is also very important in order to maximize crop productivity. In this sense, intercropping and crop rotation are two agronomic practices that are quite common within the European Union and also, all over the world. The crops used in these cropping systems are normally one legume, such as pea or clover, and one cereal, such as barley or maize. The rationale of using a legume in those cropping systems is to provide the soils and the subsequent crop with a N source.
There are numerous studies about individual crops´ microbiota as well as about bacterial isolates able to promote plant growth and performance. Moreover, there are studies stating that bacterial strains are able to protect the plant from biotic and abiotic stresses. However, there is a lack of studies on the interaction between the different members of a microbiome within each plant and the different microbiomes of the plants included in a given cropping system.
The main aim of this action is to determine the core microbiome and their associated functions that are common between the crops in each cropping system. This knowledge will allow to design an adapted biofertilizer based on a simplified native community, which will improve crop fitness and productivity, as well as protect against quarantine pathogens. This final goal will turn itself as an effective tool for managing cropping systems such as crop rotation and intercropping from a microbiological vision.


Net EU contribution
€ 160 932,48
37008 Salamanca

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Centro (ES) Castilla y León Salamanca
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 160 932,48