An important aspect of agriculture — the part below the soil, that no one sees — could very well rest on the shoulders of microbiome researchers. They’re studying soil-based microscopic organisms to learn how their activity and applications (such as inoculants) can elevate the agri-food sector in Canada. They already know microbiome communities are complex, symbiotic ecosystems, and now they’re able to enhance microbial relationships through genetics. There’s still more to discover, especially surrounding microbiome applications in animal digestion, crop root systems or via precision agriculture. Some, like University of Guelph researcher David Ma, believe a national research network would really help move the needle. He thinks that having the best thought leaders in the country combine their microbiome knowledege will equal results greater than the sum of its parts.

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