Bacterial strains are not distributed evenly throughout the environment. Here I explore how differential distribution and dispersal patterns of bacteria could affect interactions and coevolutionary dynamics with plants, and highlight ways that variation could be taken advantage of to develop robust and effective microbial consortia to inoculate crops. Questions about biogeographical patterns in viruses, fungi, and other eukaryotes are equally as prevalent and important for agriculture, and are in some cases more thoroughly explored. For simplicity as well as to bring attention to bacterial biogeography and dispersal in the context of plant interactions, I focus solely on bacterial patterns and questions for this article. The next few years will no doubt bring great advances in our understanding of dispersal capabilities and population dynamics for many plant-associated bacteria, and one of the next looming challenges will be learning to harvest this diversity in ways that can benefit agriculture.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science