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Microorganisms colonizing plant surfaces and internal tissues provide a number of life-support functions for their host. Despite increasing recognition of the vast functional capabilities of the plant microbiome, our understanding of the ecology and evolution of the taxonomically hyperdiverse microbial communities is limited. Here, we review current knowledge of plant genotypic and phenotypic traits as well as allogenic and autogenic factors that shape microbiome composition and functions. We give specific emphasis to the impact of plant domestication on microbiome assembly and how insights into microbiomes of wild plant relatives and native habitats can contribute to reinstate or enrich for microorganisms with beneficial effects on plant growth, development, and health. Finally, we introduce new concepts and perspectives in plant microbiome research, in particular how community ecology theory can provide a mechanistic framework to unravel the interplay of distinct ecological processes—i.e., selection, dispersal, drift, diversification—that structure the plant microbiome.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnual Review of Microbiology
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • NIOO

ID: 9732333