From plant–microbe interactions to symbiogenetics: a universal paradigm for the interspecies genetic integration


N.A. Provorov, All-Russia Research Institute for Agricultural Microbiology, Podbelsky Sh. 3, St Petersburg, Pushkin-8, 196608, Russia.


Beneficial plant–microbe symbioses are based on the integration of genetic material from diverse organisms resulting in formation of superorganism genetic systems. Analysis of their functions and evolution requires the establishment of a new biological discipline, proposed to be called symbiogenetics, which provides a basis for fundamental and applied research of the genetic control over different (symbiotic and biocenotic) biotic interactions. In ecology and agrobiology, the approaches of symbiogenetics are indispensable for optimising the interactions between the plants and the beneficial microbes to be used in ecosystem management and in sustainable crop production in which hazardous fertilisers and pesticides should be replaced by environmentally friendly microbial inoculants.