A plant’s health is affected not only by conditions such as water and temperature, but by the microorganisms that live around its roots. The rhizosphere microbiome, as this microbial community is known, regulates nutrient availability to the plant from the soil, and can impact plant growth and yields. Published the week of June 25, 2018 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers report on the results of a large-scale field study that partially replicates earlier trials to identify soil microbes that colonize plants and which can be associated with particular traits. The work was conducted by an international team led by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology (MPI), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and Cornell University, and includes JGI researchers. Learn more on the JGI website.