Enhancing phosphate-solubilising microbial communities through artificial selection

Lena Faller, Marcio F. A. Leite, Eiko E. Kuramae

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Microbial communities, acting as key drivers of ecosystem processes, harbour immense potential for sustainable agriculture practices. Phosphate-solubilising microorganisms, for example, can partially replace conventional phosphate fertilisers, which rely on finite resources. However, understanding the mechanisms and engineering efficient communities poses a significant challenge. In this study, we employ two artificial selection methods, environmental perturbation, and propagation, to construct phosphate-solubilising microbial communities. To assess trait transferability, we investigate the community performance in different media and a hydroponic system with Chrysanthemum indicum. Our findings reveal a distinct subset of phosphate-solubilising bacteria primarily dominated by Klebsiella and Enterobacterales. The propagated communities consistently demonstrate elevated levels of phosphate solubilisation, surpassing the starting soil community by 24.2% in activity. The increased activity of propagated communities remains consistent upon introduction into the hydroponic system. This study shows the efficacy of community-level artificial selection, particularly through propagation, as a tool for successfully modifying microbial communities to enhance phosphate solubilisation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1649
Pages (from-to)1649
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2024


  • Phosphates
  • Ecosystem
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Agriculture
  • Soil
  • Microbiota/genetics


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