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Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology ›› 2024, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (3): 847-857.doi: 10.13287/j.1001-9332.202403.028

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Improving crop health by synthetic microbial communities: Progress and prospects

WENG Lingyin1, LUAN Dongdong1, ZHOU Dapu1, GUO Qinggang2, WANG Guangzhou1, ZHANG Junling1*   

  1. 1College of Resource and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University/National Key Laboratory of Efficient Utilization of Nutrient Resources/National Academy of Agriculture Green Development, Beijing 100193, China;
    2Plant Protection Institute, Hebei Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Baoding 071000, Hebei, China
  • Received:2023-07-15 Revised:2024-01-10 Online:2024-03-18 Published:2024-06-18

Abstract: Crop health directly affects yields and food security. At present, agrochemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides are mainly used in agricultural production to promote crop health. However, long-term excessive utilization of agrochemicals will damage the ecological environment of farmlands and increase the safety risk of agricultural products. It is urgent to explore efficient and environment-friendly agricultural products. Rhizosphere microbiome are considered as the second genome of plants, which are closely related to crop health. Understanding the key functional microbes, microbe-microbe interactions, and plant-microbe interactions are fundamental for exploring the potential of beneficial microbes in promoting crop health. However, due to the heterogeneity and complexity of the natural environment, stimulating the function of indigenous microorganisms remains uncertain. Synthetic microbial community (SynCom) is an artificial combination of two or more different strain isolates of microorganisms, with different taxonomic, genetic, or functional characteristic. Because of the advantages of maintaining species diversity and community stability, SynCom has been widely applied in the fields of human health, environmental governance and industrial production, and may also have great potential in promoting crop health. We summarized the concept and research status of SynCom, expounded the principles and methods of constructing SynCom, and analyzed the research on the promotion of crop health by exploring the mechanism of plant-microbe interactions, promoting plant growth and development, and improving stress resistance. Finally, we envisaged the future prospects to guide the using SynCom to improve crop health.

Key words: synthetic microbial community, crop health, microbial ecology, synthetic biology, biofertilizer