Human and Plant Microbiome Research Excellence Cluster
The phrase “No man is an island” literally describes that humans and other eukaryotes, including plants, serve as host for microbes and provide a habitat for bacteria, fungi, and viruses, or other eukaryotes. These interactions of hosts with their associated microorganisms (microbiome) can be intimate, and range from beneficial to detrimental for the host. In the Human and Plant Microbiome Research Excellence Cluster, we survey humans and plants as ecosystems for microbes, and correlate the microbes with the host phenotype and function. Hosts also have complex signaling pathways and self-nonself recognition pathways to flip the switch between defense or symbiotic responses. Using next generation sequencing and molecular techniques, such as metagenomics, or metatranscriptomics, faculty within the research cluster contribute to advancing our knowledge on host-microbe interactions for the purpose of enhancing human health and plant productivity.