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Last update: May 2021

Menu Institutions

SPS - Saclay Plant Sciences

Beneficial microbes for sustainable agriculture

Coordination: Benoit Alunni

10 teams and 2 scientific platforms

Agriculture is undergoing profound change and, in the coming decades, will have to meet the dual challenge of feeding an ever-expanding human population, while respecting nature and the balance of ecosystems already degraded by strong anthropic pressure and ongoing climate change. The urgency of these issues is sparking renewed interest from scientific communities, politicians and civil society at large in alternative approaches such as the development of agroecology. For example, one way of reducing the harmful impact of intensive agriculture is to minimize chemical inputs and replace them with living biological products.

The SPS “Beneficials” flagship project is interested in elucidating the role of plant-associated microbes in the promotion of plant nutrition and plant immunity, in the framework of a more sustainable agriculture.

The project is structured into three sub-groups focusing on Cereals, Legumes and Solanaceae.

There is a strong connection between the SPS “Beneficials” flagship project and the interdisciplinary center of the Université Paris-Saclay called MICROBES, gathering scientists in biology, ecology, medicine, pharmacology, chemistry, physics, applied mathematics, informatics, engineering and related fields  around the fundamental understanding of microbial organisms. Microbes are studied and taught from the smallest scale, at the level of molecules and macromolecules, over cellular pathways and mechanisms, whole cells and viruses until interactions of microbes with other cells, organs and organisms, ecosystems, the biosphere or the biogeochemical cycles.