Function-targeted high-resolution phenotyping platform to deduce genetics-functions relationships in rhizomicrobiome for promoting plant nutrients utilization

Rhizo-microbiome research is in its infancy and holds the key to a better understanding of plant-microbe interactions with a positive impact on plant health, productivity and agricultural sustainability. This study will leverage innovative single-cell Raman microspectroscopy (SCRM) technology and computational science to develop a novel and integrated phenotyping-genotyping technology platform as the basis for building a world-class agricultural phenotyping facility at Cornell. The complexity of the SCRM dataset, due to its size and composition, with low abundance of mostly unknown species (as expected for rhizomicrobiome), demands complicated dimension reduction and classification methods to achieve the desired performance. The goal is to discover and profile new and in situfunctionally-relevant microorganisms, such as polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) that contribute to P utilization, and carbon (PHB, glycogen)-accumulating organisms (CAOs) involved in nitrogen fixation, among others, and to establish gene-function relationships by correlating phenotypic and genotypic profiles. Discoveries made on this project will advance the technological, biophysical and socio-economic knowledge needed to shift the paradigm towards better management of land and water resources to ensure food, energy and water security in intensified agricultural regions such as New York State.

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