Title Three projects seek adaptations to microbiome for more sustainable agriculture and horticulture Degree of recognition International Media name/outlet NWO News Media type Web Country/Territory Netherlands Date 21/12/2022 Description A good Christmas for three consortia focusing on crop resilience and human and animal health: NWO's Executive Board allocates them a total of 5.5 million within the ‘Microbiome: healthy from soil to animal & human and back’ programme. 27 Public and private partners commit a total of another 1.25 million euros. 13 national and international knowledge institutions are participating in the projects.
Microorganisms are important for crop resilience and human and animal health. Possible adaptation of this so-called microbiome offers great opportunities for society. After all, this microbiome performs important functions in terms of protection against pathogens, nutrient availability and digestion of food. The three awarded projects will provide more insight into the microbiome as a whole, its function in soil or in agriculture and horticulture, and its transmission to humans and animals.
The three consortia will investigate the effects of the soil microbiome on human health, the potential to grow better crops after microbiome adaptations, and exploiting peptide-producing microbiota for sustainable crop protection.
The consortia focus on obtaining the necessary knowledge to enable applications. Besides a technical task, there is also a societal one: innovations in this field must be feasible in this area. Therefore, environmental, regulatory and social acceptance issues also play a role. This is why an interdisciplinary approach is so important.
KIC seeks technological economic opportunities
The Knowledge and Innovation Covenant (KIC) research programme stands for pioneering innovative solutions with social and economic impact. Companies, knowledge institutions and governments invest together in business application of knowledge to tackle major societal challenges with smart technologies. This is how we secure jobs and income in the future. This is laid down in the Knowledge and Innovation Covenant (KIC) 2020-2023, which is in line with the central government’s mission-driven top sectors and innovation policy. NWO brings companies and knowledge institutions together and funds groundbreaking research based on their innovative, impactful research proposals.
Within the main line Mission, NWO annually develops a number of large thematic programmes with a size of between 5 and 11 million euros: the mission-driven programmes. The choice of topic is determined on the basis of prioritisation within the Knowledge and Innovation Agendas. Researchers submit proposals for collaborative projects, with a budget of between €750,000 and €4 million per proposal.
This call connects the top sectors Agri & Food, Horticulture & Starting Materials and Water & Maritime, within the Knowledge and Innovation Agenda (KIA) Agriculture, Water, Food.
1. Healthy from soil to gut: the effect of the soil microbiome on human health (MicroHealth)
2. Steering soil microbiomes for better crop quality: the holy grail to improve human health?
Main applicant: dr. S.E. (Emilia) Hannula – Universiteit Leiden, Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML)
Gut health, and especially the gut microbiome are important players in human health as they are related to the occurrence of non-communicable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. The microbial and chemical properties of vegetables influence the composition of the gut microbiome, and are themselves influenced by soil microbiomes and therefore affected by agricultural practices. Here we investigate the effects of land-use and food production systems on the microbial and chemical properties of plants and the soil microbiome and how all these factors relate to human health.
Project number: KICH1.LWV04.21.006
Funding awarded: € 1,793,880
Co-financing: € 453,688
Dr. P.W.J. Maljaars, MD, PhD (Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC))
Prof. T.M. Bezemer (Universiteit Leiden, Institute of Biology (IBL))
Dr. D.E. Rozen (Universiteit Leiden, Institute of Biology (IBL))
Dr. Y.H. Choi (Universiteit Leiden, Institute of Biology (IBL))
Dr. G.E. Breeman (Universiteit Leiden, Institute of Public Administration (PA))
Prof. P.M. van Bodegom (Universiteit Leiden, Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML))
Prof. J.W. Erisman (Universiteit Leiden, Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML))
Prof. S.El Aidy (University of Groningen, Faculty of Science and engineering, (RUG))
Dr. G.F. Veen (Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW))
Prof. W.H. van der Putten (Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW))
Dr. E. Elferink (Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences)
Dr. M. Sura-de Jong (Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences)
P. Drost (Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences)
Prof. D. Jonkers (NUTRIM, Maastricht University)
Prof. J. Penders (NUTRIM, Maastricht University)
Prof. A. Evers (Universiteit Leiden, Institute of Psychology)
3. Precision medicine for agriculture: harnessing peptide-producing microbiota for sustainable crop protection
Main applicant: Prof. (Marnix) Medema – Institution of main applicant: Wageningen University
Microbial pathogens constitute a major threat to crop yields worldwide. Chemical pesticides are often effective but may have a negative impact on biodiversity as well as consumer health. To provide an alternative, the researchers will identify natural plant-associated bacteria that provide targeted inhibition of pathogens through the production of antimicrobial peptides.
Project number: KICH1.LWV04.21.013
Funding awarded: € 1,799,833
Co-financing: € 443,250
Prof. Gilles van Wezel (Leiden University)
Dr. Somayah Elsayed (Leiden University)
Dr. Justin J.J. van der Hooft (Wageningen University)
Prof. Emely de Vet (Wageningen University)
Prof. Jingyuan Fu (University Medical Centre Groningen)
Prof. Alexandra Zhernakova (University Medical Centre Groningen)
Prof. Jörn Piel (ETH Zürich)
Prof. Consuelo De Moraes (ETH Zürich)
Prof. Mark Mescher (ETH Zürich)
Dr. Gerbert Hiddink (Enza Zaden)
Dr. Alex van Belkum (Baseclear)
Dr. Jie Hu (Corteva Agriscience, USA)
Prof. Oscar Kuipers (University of Groningen)
Prof. Wilfred van der Donk (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA)
Dr. Olga Genilloud (Fundacion Medina, Spain)
Prof. Jos Raaijmakers (Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW))
Dr. Inge Hanssen (De Ceuster Fertilisers, Belgium)
Dr. Hans Mol (Wageningen Food Safety Research)
Producer/Author NWO URL https://www.nwo.nl/en/news/three-projects-seek-adaptations-microbiome-more-sustainable-agriculture-and-horticulture Persons Sahar El Aidy, Oscar Kuipers