Editorial: Synthetic microbial communities: Sandbox and blueprint for soil health enhancement

Mei Li, Jie Hu, Zhong Wei* (Corresponding author), Alexandre Jousset, Thomas Pommier, Xiangyang Yu, Yangchun Xu, Qirong Shen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


In nature, diverse microorganisms do not act as individuals but rather interact and communicate with one another in a dynamically changing microbial community, they are essential for maintaining the Earth's biosphere and for the survival of plants and animals as they contribute to nearly all biogeochemical cycles on earth. However, studying microbial populations directly in their natural environment poses significant challenges due to their vast population size and complex interaction network. This difficulty hampers our ability to predict the behavior of microbial communities in nature, thereby limiting our understanding of the functionality of microorganisms in the natural environmental systems and developing and utilizing microbial resources. Further, the inherent complexity of the natural microbiota makes it immensely challenging to establish causality and, subsequently, dissect mechanisms. One emerging strategy to tackle the aforementioned challenge is to use simplified, synthetic microbial communities (SynComs).
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere172
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Research theme

  • Biodiversity
  • Sustainable water and land use


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