Soil microbes: Next generation sequencing holds promise for potato sector

Soil is sometimes considered the last frontier because so little is known about the microbial and fungal communities that live within it. “A lot of people are really excited about the work in microbiology because it’s thought that soil microbes could come to our rescue,” said Claudia Goyer, a noted soil scientist and potato researcher with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Fredericton Research and Development Centre in New Brunswick, Canada. “The hope is that we will better understand bacteria and fungal communities in soil.” Soil health and crop production go hand in hand, which is why scientists, like Goyer, are working hard to better understand it. Her work on soil microbes using next generation sequencing could help potato growers increase production. In one study, Goyer looked at how bacterial and fungal communities change in the varying topography of a potato field. Report by Spudman