Ever since Michael Pollan shared the nitty-gritty details of his gut bacteria, a lot of us have been not-so-secretly obsessed with microbes. Supermarket shelves are jammed with products boasting good-for-you probiotics. What if microbes can give plants the same benefits? Considered through the lens of a warming planet with a burgeoning population, that question has scientists buzzing with the possibility…Dr. James White, who studies the microbial endophytes of plants at Rutgers University, says we’re still in the early stages of this type of technology but that it holds great promise. "We’re finding microbial endophytes in plant after plant after plant. They’re bacterial and fungal. There’s a whole community there that contributes to how a plant performs. And understanding that might enable us to grow crops without so many agrichemicals on them," says White.
/ / / Scientists Say Microbes Create Hardier, Bigger Crops—Without Chemicals