Harnessing intercellular signals to engineer the soil microbiome

Jack A. Connolly, William R. Harcombe, Michael J. Smanski, Linda L. Kinkel, Eriko Takano, Rainer Breitling

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Covering: Focus on 2015 to 2020 Plant and soil microbiomes consist of diverse communities of organisms from across kingdoms and can profoundly affect plant growth and health. Natural product-based intercellular signals govern important interactions between microbiome members that ultimately regulate their beneficial or harmful impacts on the plant. Exploiting these evolved signalling circuits to engineer microbiomes towards beneficial interactions with crops is an attractive goal. There are few reports thus far of engineering the intercellular signalling of microbiomes, but this article argues that it represents a tremendous opportunity for advancing the field of microbiome engineering. This could be achieved through the selection of synergistic consortia in combination with genetic engineering of signal pathways to realise an optimised microbiome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-324
Number of pages14
JournalNatural Product Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This review was supported through the Signals in the Soil program: JAC, ET, and RB were funded via UK Research and Innovation (UKRI; NE/T010959/1), and WH, MS, and LLK by NSF (1935458).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review


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