This year, a consortium of plant scientists received the Dutch “Zwaartekracht grant“. The 10-year project will be a collaboration between different research groups at different universities. It includes Prof. dr. ir. H.J. Bouwmeester (UvA), Prof.dr. M. Dicke (WUR), Prof.dr. E.T. Kiers (VU), Prof.dr.ir. C.M.J. Pieterse (UU), Prof.dr. J.M. Raaijmakers (NIOO-KNAW en UL) and our own Prof. dr. Christa Testerink.
MiCRop will unlock how plants under stress recruit beneficial root microbes. Using our combined expertise, we will investigate which mechanisms plants use to recruit friendly microbes and with which processes the microbes in turn enhance the plant’s resistance to stress.We will harness the yet unknown plant and microbial traits that facilitate this interaction, and translate their potential for the development of next-generation, stress-resilient crops that require fewer fertilisers and pesticides.