The Soil-plant-microbe interactions group is part of the Food Security and Safety focus area of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences of the North-West University, South Africa. We aim to understand the interactions between microorganisms residing in the endosphere and rhizosphere and their host plants. The microbiota plays a critical role in the health and growth of plants, but how these beneficial microbes are recognized and their potential remains poorly understood.
We try to understand and explore the functions of microorganisms in natural and artificial ecosystems, including interdependencies with their living and non-living environments. Key research issues include:
Activities focus on innovative cultivation-based, culture-independent, and molecular approaches aimed at understanding microbial composition and functionality at the system level, including the application of next-generation sequencing.
Investigate the below and above-ground microbial interactions, rhizosphere metagenomics, symbiosis, and aspects of stress tolerance and the biotechnological potentials of microorganisms to enhance the growth, health, and productivity of the crop plants. We aim to generate biofertilizers, bioherbicides, and similar biocontrol products.