Did you know that growing root tips can absorb entire microbial cells? Or that symbiotic endophytes change the behavior of soil-borne pathogens to become beneficial organisms, and provide nutrients to the plant?

I was delighted to discover Dr. James White’s publications on rhizophagy1 and the role of endophytes2 in plant health, and even more thrilled during our interview on the podcast with the updated information that was shared.

I have long been passionate about understand plant absorption of non-ionic nutrients. Of all the research published related to this topic in the last few years, I have been most excited by the reported capacity of growing root tips to absorb entire microbial cells and extract needed nutrients from those cells, then release some of the microbes back into the soil to repeat the process all over again.

The future of agronomy and plant nutrition will be based on understanding the science needed to supply one hundred percent of a high yielding crops nutritional requirements as microbial requirements, and not as simple ions from applied products.

I have had so many exceptional interviews on the podcast that I can’t say one is the best ever, but this one will definitely be among my personal favorites for a long time. It is a must-listen, and the papers are ‘need to read’. I highly recommend.

1. White, J. F., Kingsley, K. L., Verma, S. K. & Kowalski, K. P. Rhizophagy Cycle: An Oxidative Process in Plants for Nutrient Extraction from Symbiotic Microbes. Microorganisms 6, (2018).
2.White, J. F. et al. Review: Endophytic microbes and their potential applications in crop management. Pest Manag. Sci. 75, 2558–2565 (2019).