Navigation auf


Life Science Zurich Communication & Events

Building models to predict interactions in plant microbiomes

Microbiologists at ETH Zurich have developed computational models that use nutrients and metabolism of plant-​associated bacteria to predict how the microbes interact on the surface of leaves and ultimately form the microbiome.

Illustration: Sean Kilian

In brief

  • Microbiomes play a key role for plant health and could make agriculture more sustainable – but the principles behind the assembly of their communities have remained largely unknown.
  • Researchers at ETH Zurich have shown how bacteria can compete for food, but also cooperate thanks to differences in metabolism – resulting in stably structured communities.
  • Their models can accurately predict these interactions and can help to design microbiomes for specific applications in the future.

ETH News