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Plants and Microbiomes Working Group


The WG will help creating a science community on plants and microbiomes, foster collaborations and develop advice to policy makers.

EPSO Publications prepared by this Working Group:

EPSO: Report and recommendations on Plants and Microbiomes from the workshop in Vienna 23.2.2017, published 23.3.2017 and highlighting the concept of Diverse crops with diverse microbiomes for diverse diets and resilient production.


The second workshop “Implementing a Plants and Microbiomes Strategy in Europe” (Announcement 31.5.2018) will take place on in Cologne on 12 October 2018. The aim of this second workshop is to define the needs of and provide advice to the current EU Horizon 2020, Work programme 2020, and its successor “Horizon Europe” (Framework Programme 9). The meeting intends to increase collaborations between the working group members (via e.g. COST action, Coordination & Support Actions, initiate more collaborations both bi-and multi-lateral). At the end of the meeting, a workshop report will be drafted which may ultimately lead to a white paper with current status, goals and next steps in plants and microbiomes research and will be provided as science advice to policy to the European Commission.

In 2017, the group held its first workshop to define a strategy for plant microbiome research in Europe and beyond having a vision on the understanding and application of plant microbiomes in a multidisciplinary manner (linkage to plant research, soil / ecosystem, functioning, agronomy, human/animal health, conservation of biological / genetic resources) and well-integrated in the EPSO network. We defined the needs regarding joint efforts in plant microbiome research and reflect on the needs to achieve major understanding and enable innovations in crop production and ecosystem conservation. The outcome of this meeting, published in the 23.3.2017 report,  will provide the basis for further activities planned within this WG and will be provided as science advice to policy to the European Commission.

Working Group leaders:
Angela Sessitsch, AIT, AT
Paul Schulze-Lefert, MPIZ, DE

Working Group Members: 
Ernest Aliche, University of Amsterdam, NL
Carmen Bianco, CNR, IT
Ton Bisseling, WUR, NL 
Sylvia Blümel, BoKu, AT
Paola Bonfante, Univ Torino, IT
Harro Bouwmeester, Univ. Amsterdam, NL                                  
Marc Buée, INRA Nancy-Lorraine, FR 
Soumitra Chowdhury, Helmholtz Munich, DE
Roberto Defez, CNR, IT
Aurélie Deveau, INRA Nancy-Lorraine, FR
Tim Evison, Univ Copenhagen, DK
Kerrie Farrar, IBERS, UK
Judith Felten, SLU Umea, SE
Sofie Goormachtig, VIB, BE
Rita Grosch, IGZEV, DE
Mette Haubjerg Nicolaisen, Univ Copenhagen, DK
Juan Imperial, Univ. Polit. de Madrid, INIA / CSIC, ES
Cathie Martin, JIC Norwich, UK
Karin Metzlaff, EPSO
Liesje Mommer, WUR, NL
Christophe Mougel, INRA - Centre de Rennes, FR
Greta Noelke, IME Aachen, DE
Kirsi-Marja Oksman-Caldentey, VTT, FI
Corné Pieterse, Utrecht Univ, NL
Anna Maria Pirttilä, Univ Oulu, FI
Christophe Plomion, INRA Nancy-Lorraine, FR
Simona Radutoiu, Aarhus, DK
Maria Saarela, VTT, FI
Soledad Sacristan, UPM-INIA, Madrid, ES
Patrick Schafer, Warwick Univ, UK
Klaus Schläppi, Agroscope, CH 
Michael Schloter, Helmholtz Munich, DE
Peter Schroeder, Helmholtz Munich, DE
Paul Schulze-Lefert, MPIZ, DE
Angela Sessitsch, AIT, AT
Amir Sharon, Tel Aviv Univ, IL
Soren Sorensen, Univ Copenhagen, DK
Chiara Tonelli, Univ Milano, IT
Corinne Vacher, INRA Nancy-Lorraine, FR
Marcel van der Heijden, Agroscope, CH
Jan Dirk van Elsas, Univ Groningen, NL
Leo van Overbeek, WUR, NL
Steve Wakelin, SCION, NZ
Michelle Watt, Julich Research Centre, DE

Working Group Observers (From academia):
Gabriele Berg, Graz Univ of Techol., AT
Davide Bulgarelli, Univ Dundee, UK
Yvan Moenne-Loccoz, Univ Lyon, FR
Riitta Nissinen, Univ Jyväskyla, FI
Barbara Reinhold-Hurek, Univ Bremen, DE
Stijn Spaepen, KUL, BE
Sofie Thijs, Uni. Hasselt, BE
Jaco Vangronsveld, Univ. Hasselt, BE

Working Group Observers (From industry and farming):
Marc Levebvre, SesVanderhave, BE
Hagai Karchi, Evogene, IL
Jeanne Kjaer, Novozymes, DK
Harald Mikkelsen, Koppert, NL
Isabel Vercauteren, ApheaBio, BE 

Note: More interested EPSO members, pls contact us at [email protected] to join the group

Printed from on 12/12/18 10:04:53 AM

EPSO is an independent academic organisation currently representing 61 institutional members bringing together more than 204 research institutes, departments and universities from 29 countries in Europe and beyond.