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Novel research to root out how microbes affect rice plants
09/08/2009 -

Plants that live in the soil don't live alone -- a mere teaspoon of soil teems with an estimated billion microscopic organisms.

Yet comparatively little is known about which of these tiny organisms interact with plants or how they may affect plant performance and crop yields, according to Harsh Bais, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences at the University of Delaware.

With a three-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Bais is teaming up with researchers from the University of California Davis and Delaware State University to uncover the diversity and potential impacts of microbes that literally lie at the roots of rice, one of the world's most important food crops.