We are proud to announce the publication of our most recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Dr. Tony Walters and collaborators from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology (MPI), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Cornell University and the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) conducted a very large-scale longitudinal field study looking into the maize rhizosphere microbiome and reported the identification of heritable microorganisms.
Variations in the abundance of these microbes can be partially explained by genetic differences between the maize lines, above and beyond the strong influences of field, plant age, and weather on the diversity of the microbial community. If these heritable taxa are associated with beneficial traits, they may serve as phenotypes in future breeding endeavors.
You can find the JGI press release here: https://jgi.doe.gov/reproducibility-matters-maize-rhizosphere/
You can find the publication here: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/06/19/1800918115