The Inherent Conflicts in Developing Soil Microbial Inoculants

Laura M. Kaminsky, Ryan V. Trexler, Rondy J. Malik, Kevin Hockett, Terrence Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Potentially beneficial microorganisms have been inoculated into agricultural soils for years. However, concurrent with sequencing advances and successful manipulation of host-associated microbiomes, industry and academia have recently boosted investments into microbial inoculants, convinced they can increase crop yield and reduce fertilizer and pesticide requirements. The efficacy of soil microbial inoculants remains unreliable, and unlike crop breeding, in which target traits (e.g., yield) have long been considered alongside environmental compatibility, microbial inoculant ecology is not sufficiently integrated into microbial selection and production. We propose a holistic temporal model of the shifting constraints on inoculants at five stages of product development and application, and highlight potential conflicts between stages. We question the feasibility of developing ideal soil microbial inoculants with current approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-151
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

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Agricultural Inoculants
Soil
Soils
Crops
Fertilizers
Ecology
Pesticides
Product development
Microorganisms
Microbiota
Breeding
Industry

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering

Cite this

Kaminsky, Laura M. ; Trexler, Ryan V. ; Malik, Rondy J. ; Hockett, Kevin ; Bell, Terrence. / The Inherent Conflicts in Developing Soil Microbial Inoculants. In: Trends in Biotechnology. 2019 ; Vol. 37, No. 2. pp. 140-151.
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The Inherent Conflicts in Developing Soil Microbial Inoculants. / Kaminsky, Laura M.; Trexler, Ryan V.; Malik, Rondy J.; Hockett, Kevin; Bell, Terrence.

In: Trends in Biotechnology, Vol. 37, No. 2, 01.02.2019, p. 140-151.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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