The plant microbiome and its importance for plant and human health
The study of plant-microbe associations by new techniques has significantly improved our understanding of the structure and specificity of the plant microbiome. Yet, microbiome function and the importance of the plant’s microbiome in the context of human and plant health are largely unexplored. Comparable with our human microbiome, millions of microbes inhabit plants, forming complex ecological communities that influence plant growth and health through its collective metabolic activities and host interactions. Viewing the microbiota from an ecological perspective can provide insight into how to promote plant health and stress tolerance of their hosts or how to adapt to a changing climate by targeting this microbial community. Moreover, the plant microbiome has a substantial impact on human health by influencing our gut microbiome by eating raw plants such as lettuce and herbs but also by influencing the microbiome of our environment through airflow. This research topic comprising reviews, original and opinion articles highlights the current knowledge regarding plant microbiomes, their specificity, diversity and function as well as all aspects studying the management of plant microbiomes to enhance plant growth, health quality and stress tolerance.