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Our night sky is heavily light-polluted which has a far-reaching impact on our ecosystem, changing daily and seasonal timing of a multitude of organisms we share our environment with. At the NIOO-KNAW, we team up with ecologists and chronobiologists all across the Netherlands to restore healthy rhythms for ourselves and in our natural environment.
Producing tailor made-fertilizer from steering cultivation conditions of photogranules
We study the selection and evolution of circadian clocks in wild birds via measurements of rhythms in the wild and in the laboratory
SoilProS will interpret big data on soil biodiversity, soil chemical and physical characteristics with respect to current and desired soil functions, and how to use this information in order to help farmers predicting which crop varieties, seed mixtures, (organic) fertilizers, soil inocula, and organic substrates enhance the environmental sustainability of their activities.
Marbles EU project
Flipping Lakes is a serious game, showing the threats and the solutions in our world full of water.
Plant-growth promoting microbes (PGPM) are a viable alternative to traditional fertilizers for enhancing plant productivity and improving soil quality without environmental pollution. The use of PGPM in agriculture has been hampered by a lack of reproducible results and the difficulty of transferring this technology to the field. This inconsistent success primarily reflects competition or resistance of the original soil microbiome to inoculants, as well as the negative effects of management practices such as fertilization on plant interactions with the soil microbiome and the efficiency of ecosystem services delivered by PGPM. We were the first to circumvent this problem under field conditions by manipulating the soil microbiome to successfully obtain consistent, positive effects of inoculated microbes on plant productivity (Cipriano et al., 2016;https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiw197). However, the influence of the indigenous soil microbiome on plants remains largely unknown. We propose to investigate this tripartite, PGPM-plant-soil microbiome interaction in plant quality and productivity using state-of-the-art ‘omics’ and bioinformatics approaches to investigate facilitation (positive interactions) and competition (negative interactions) by both microbes and PGPM within the plant realized niche following gradients of both soil diversity and nutrient availability. This research will facilitate the development of innovative methods for agricultural and horticultural starting material production using PGPM for sustainable crop production by combining techniques to reduce nutrient input and enhance the efficiency and long-lasting effects of PGPM. This research proposal will integrate approaches to obtain a fundamental understanding of these tripartite interactions in a smart microbiome engineered plant production system for sustainable high-quality crop production.
Plant roots are colonized by billions of microorganisms that affect plant growth and tolerance to (a)biotic stresses. Recently we discovered that plants infected by fungal pathogens actively recruit microbes inside their root tissue, the endosphere, for protection. Here we will investigate how plants under siege communicate with their microbiome and characterize the protective endophytic microbes, their genes and metabolites. With nano-microscopic techniques we will unwire where microbes live inside plant roots and express their protective traits. The obtained fundamental knowledge will provide a strong basis for developing innovative strategies that integrate microbiomes in plant breeding and sustainable crop protection.
In this project we study the taxonomic and functional diversity of the phyllosphere microbiome of wheat. Together with our Danish and US partners, we isolate and characterize yeasts and bacteria living on and in the flag leaf of wheat. The ultimate goal is to identify novel phyllosphere microbes that contribute to tolerance of wheat plants exposed to abiotic and biotic stresses.
Microp- Diversity and functions of the potato microbiome in the centre of origin