The plant-microbe interactome in ruminants: identification of control for mitigation of negative ecosystem outputs

C. James Newbold, Nigel D. Scollan, Joan E. Edwards, Alison H. Kingston-Smith, Eun J. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This conference provides an opportunity to discuss recent developments in the understanding of how microorganisms can interact positively with plants in agricultural and natural ecosystems, how these interactions impact (positively or negatively, for example, in the case of weed plants) on ecosystem function and to what extent these interactions can be manipulated to improve plant fitness and/ or enhance ecosystem sustainability. These interactions include: microorganism production of exopolysaccharides which stabilise soil aggregates; rhizosphere microorganism generation of plant inorganic nutrient ions, plant growth promoting hormones and antipathogenic substances; associative, endophytic and symbiotic nitrogen fixation (legumes and actinorhizal plants); mycorrhizal uptake of water and nutrients; fungal endophytes of grasses that give protection against herbivore pests; associative fungi that give protection against nematode pests; associative bacteria that protect against insect pests and bacteriophages that protect against diseases.

Ruminants provide a key role in food supply, enabling food to be produced for human consumption from land unsuitable for other production systems. However, the cost of the ability of ruminants to digest complex ligno-cellulose substrates is the generation of environmentally damaging products. Decreased environmental impact can be achieved as a result of intervention to improve the efficiency of feed utilisation in the rumen. The challenge for ruminant science is to find sustainable ways of delivering these results. Novel considerations of the interaction between the rumen microbiota and the composition and post-harvest changes occurring in ingested forage during grazing build on previous understanding of the roles of specific groups of the rumen microbial population. This provides an opportunity to advance our understanding of the rumen ecosystem and take a sustainable plant-based approach to mitigation of the contribution of livestock to climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalAspects of Applied Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventProceedings of International Conference on Positive Plant Microbial Interactions in Relation to Plant Performance and Ecosystem Function - Grantham, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Duration: 15 Dec 200916 Dec 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'The plant-microbe interactome in ruminants: identification of control for mitigation of negative ecosystem outputs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this