Seed World

French Ag Research Institute Joins Phytobiomes Alliance

The French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) has joined the International Alliance for Phytobiomes Research (Phytobiomes Alliance) as a sponsoring partner.

“INRA has been at the forefront of advancing agroecology and of enhancing our knowledge of host-microbe interactions,” says Kellye Eversole, the Phytobiomes Alliance executive director. “We are thrilled to have them come on board to help us establish priorities for pre-competitive research at the international level.”

Over the next decades, agricultural research and food, feed, and fiber production must make a paradigm shift to be able to meet in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner the future demands of a projected world population of 9.6 billion by 2050.

The Phytobiomes Alliance envisions that all farmers, ranchers, growers and foresters will have at their disposal predictive and prescriptive tools to choose the best combination of crops, management practices and inputs for a specific field in a given year, taking into consideration all physical and biological conditions.

“The Phytobiomes Alliance offers the opportunity to join and contribute to international dynamics around plant-microbiota interactions in relation to plant performance that will stimulate public-private innovative projects in this competitive field of research,” says Christophe Mougel, INRA research director.

Phytobiome is a term that relates to a plant in a distinct geographical unit, which includes the plant itself, all micro- and macro-organisms living in, on or around the plant, and the environment.

Established in 2016 to coordinate public-private research projects on agriculturally relevant phytobiomes, the alliance seeks to build a systems-level understanding of how phytobiome components on any farm, rangeland or forest interact and affect each other. By adding data about biological components to physical data already used in precision agriculture and integrated pest management, the Phytobiomes Alliance goal is to enable a paradigm shift in agricultural production by empowering management of the whole phytobiome system instead of a few individual physical components.

Representatives of Phytobiomes Alliance sponsors serve on the Coordinating Committee; the role of this committee is to identify research, resource or technology gaps, establish priorities, develop strategic plans and design roadmaps to achieve alliance goals.