Engineering Multigenerational Host-Modulated Microbiota against Soilborne Pathogens in Response to Global Climate Change

Simple Summary In order to face the challenges posed by climate change, scientific research should be directed towards global needs while also keeping into account the need for increased plant productivity. In this sense, our scientific group from the Biocontrol Research Laboratory BIOREN (Temuco, Chile) and our collaborators, have been studying the enormous potential to enhance productivity by using suppressive soils. In this review, we highlight soil-suppressive microbiota as a natural source of biocontrol agents and we propose a strategy to create microbial assemblages, where the plant selects its own inoculants (when plants 'cry for help'). This approach is based on the selection of specific taxa during the transition from a conducive to a suppressive soil. We hope that this strategy leads to generation of personalized bioinoculants to counteract the effects of climate change and increase agricultural sustainability. Crop migration caused by climatic events has favored the emergence of new soilborne diseases, resulting in the colonization of new niches (emerging infectious diseases, EIDs). Soilborne pathogens are extremely persistent in the environment. This is in large part due to their ability to reside in the soil for a long time, even without a host plant, using survival several strategies. In this regard, disease-suppressive soils, characterized by a low disease incidence due to the presence of antagonist microorganisms, can be an excellent opportunity for the study mechanisms of soil-induced immunity, which can be applied in the development of a new generation of bioinoculants. Therefore, here we review the main effects of climate change on crops and pathogens, as well as the potential use of soil-suppressive microbiota as a natural source of biocontrol agents. Based on results of previous studies, we also propose a strategy for the optimization of microbiota assemblages, selected using a host-mediated approach. This process involves an increase in and prevalence of specific taxa during the transition from a conducive to a suppressive soil. This strategy could be used as a model to engineer microbiota assemblages for pathogen suppression, as well as for the reduction of abiotic stresses created due to global climate change.

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