Microbiomes in engineered ecosystems: Integrative science to elucidate microbiome roles in mediating plant, soil, ecosystem, and human health

Project: Grand Challenges

Project Details


Our landscape is a network of engineered ecosystems and environments. Technological advances allow us to characterize the complex microbial communities, or microbiomes, associated with these environments. This capacity gives us unprecedented insight into key processes mediated by microbiomes in natural and human-engineered systems. However, coordinated efforts to integrate information across systems remain limited. Can the lessons we have learned about microbiomes in nature be harnessed to improve crop yields or reduce agriculture’s environmental footprint? Can the dynamics in industrial microbial bioreactors offer insight into anaerobic processes that produce methane in bogs? Integrative approaches to microbiome-focused questions will enhance our ability to feed the world sustainably, assure clean water, and improve control of microbial processes in engineered ecosystems. Our project goal is to establish a cross-collegiate core of University of Minnesota researchers focused on microbiomes in human-modified ecosystems, and will support cross-disciplinary integration of datasets and generate forward-thinking ideas and education.
Effective start/end date1/1/171/31/19


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