The soil microbiome is of direct importance for plant health. This video summarizes the main findings of our recent study “Rhizosphere protists are key determinants of plant health” published in the journal Microbiome.
We show that plant health is predicted early during plant growth— not by pathogen abundances but by the community structure of bacteria and even more protists. These protists, the most abundant eukaryotes and important predators of bacteria and fungi, prey on plant pathogens and also change the microbiome in a way that reduces plant pathogens. Therefore, the right community of protists might help plants. This knowledge we can use to predict plant growth at planting and might also lead to findings of protists as biocontrol agents.