Nathan Crook‘s proposal titled “High-throughput screening for genes to improve performance of crop plant microbiomes using functional metagenomics” was selected for funding by the Plant Soil Microbial Community Consortium (PSMCC) for FY19. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Lindsey Becker for being selected as one of the 17 inaugural recipients of the FFAR Fellows award! Lindsey is a Professional Development FFAR Fellow in the Plant Pathology Department at NC State. Her research examines the beneficial relationship between Mortierella elongate, a fungus that breaks down organic matter in soil, and tomato plants. Becker’s industry sponsor is Novozymes.

Dr. Oliver Baars is a new Assistant Professor in the Center for Integrated Fungal Research (CIFR), Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, NC State. He is filling the Biochemical Interactome position within CIFR. Welcome Oliver!

Congratulations to the two new research proposals funded in FY 2018! Dr. Dunn and Dr. Kleiner are spearheading projects looking at seed banks as a source for microbes, and developing metaproteomics methods for root-associated microbes.

Congratulations to the three exciting research proposals funded in 2017!

On May 15, 2017, Director Ignazio Carbone and Associate Director Marc Cubeta hosted a workshop for our consortium members to familiarize them with the microbial biodiversity and comparative genomic analysis toolkits developed by Dr. Carbone’s laboratory at NC State, both as a tool and as a springboard towards developing potential collaborative and consortium research projects.

Several PSMCC representatives from NC State, including Professor Francis de los Reyes, Project Manager Megan Andrews, and Postdoc Maggie Wagner, along with many of our consortium industry members, attended the inaugural North Carolina Microbiome Consortium meeting at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center on May 15, 2017. Maggie gave a joint presentation with Kirk Francis, BASF Plant Science, during the industry lightning round segment of the program and they did a great job showcasing the value of the PSMCC industry-university partnership.

PSMCC was well-represented at the March 20 CALS Partners Meeting: Deborah Springer (Novozymes) and Megan Andrews (PSMCC Project Manager), Kirk Francis (BASF Plant Science) and Maggie Wagner (postdoc), and Gary Payne (PSMCC faculty and Director of AMPLIFY) all participated in industry-academic team presentations.

We are delighted to welcome Bayer Crop Science as our newest Industry Member!

Postdoc Maggie Wagner was interviewed for an article on recent microbial advances in agriculture.

Microbiomes take center stage

National Microbiome Initiative

Representatives from North Carolina Universities were present in Washington, D.C. for the Announcement of the National Microbiome Initiative by the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

From Left to Right: David Ritchie, Professor Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University; Marc A. Cubeta, Professor Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Associate Director Center for Integrated Fungal Research, North Carolina State University; Kriti Sharma, PhD Student, Department of Biology, Microbial Interactions Laboratory, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Mary Beth Miranda, Senior Manager, Technology Sourcing and External R&D, Novozymes North America Inc; Steven A. Lommel, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Associate Dean for Research, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Director of Agricultural Research Service, North Carolina State University; Don Hobart, Professor, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

New NC State consortium to study microbes at the root-soil interface