Perspective ARTICLE

Front. Microbiol., 03 December 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00355

Bespoke microbiome therapy to manage plant diseases

Murali Gopal*, Alka Gupta and George V. Thomas
  • Microbiology Section, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kudlu, Kasaragod, India

Information gathered with advanced nucleotide sequencing technologies, small molecule detection systems and computational biology is revealing that a community of microbes and their genes, now termed “the microbiome,” located in gut and rhizosphere, is responsible for maintaining the health of human beings and plants, respectively. Within the complete microbiome a “core-microbiome” exists that plays the pivotal role in well being of humans and plants. Recent studies in medicine have shown that an artificial mixture of bacteria representing the core gut microbiome of healthy person when transferred into gut of diseased person results in re-establishment of normal microflora in the latter leading to alleviation from diseased condition. In agriculture, though not exactly in similar manner as in medicine, success in plant disease management has been achieved through transfer of microbiome by mixing disease suppressive soils with disease conducive soils. A study more similar to artificial gut microbiome transfer in medical field has been recently reported in agriculture, in which transfer of microbiome via soil solutions (filtered and unfiltered) has shown ability to alleviate drought stress in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the exact practice of transferring artificially cultivated core-microbiome as in medicine has not thus far been attempted in plant disease management. Nonetheless, as the gut and rhizosphere microbiome are known to share many common traits, there exists a good scope for accomplishing similar studies in agriculture. Based upon the information drawn from all recent works in microbiome studies of gut and rhizosphere, we propose that tailor-made core-microbiome transfer therapy can be a success in agriculture too and it could become a viable strategy for management of plant diseases in future.

Keywords: microbiome, core-microbiome, plant, disease management, soil, rhizosphere, root, gut

Citation: Gopal M, Gupta A and Thomas GV (2013) Bespoke microbiome therapy to manage plant diseases. Front. Microbiol. 4:355. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00355

Received: 01 October 2013; Accepted: 08 November 2013;
Published online: 03 December 2013.

Edited by:

Gabriele Berg, Graz University of Technology, Austria

Reviewed by:

Gabriele Berg, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Henry Mueller, Graz University of Technology, Austria

Copyright © 2013 Gopal, Gupta and Thomas. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Murali Gopal, Microbiology Section, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kudlu, Kasaragod 671 124, India e-mail:

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