Location: Sugarbeet and Potato Research
Project Number: 3060-21650-002-037-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Dec 31, 2024
This proposal aims to elucidate and optimize dry-bean-microbe interactions to enhance symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) and reduce the reliance on nitrogen (N) fertilizers required for bean production through the following objectives. (1) Quantify the interaction effects in symbiotic effectiveness in a set of reference and native rhizobial strains and dry beans in the greenhouse; (2) Quantify the interaction effects in symbiotic effectiveness in a set of reference and native rhizobial strains and dry beans under field conditions; and (3) Conduct microbiome engineering through artificial selection for SNF.
Our project is two-fold. First, we will select a panel of dry bean genotypes from the MSU dry bean breeding program from distinct market classes and gene pools. We will also select a set of commercial and local rhizobia strains from Michigan. We will perform an initial greenhouse screening and use molecular phylogenetics tools to characterize rhizobia and select them based on their diversity and symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) potential. Then we will evaluate then in combinations with the bean genotypes and use biometric techniques to identify stable rhizobia strains that perform well with several genotypes. We will test this approach for two years in the greenhouse and validate optimal combinations with a reduced subset in the field. Second, we will evaluate a novel methodology described as microbiome engineering. This approach works by indirectly selecting microbes in a unique set of conditions that can select microbes for a specific phenotype. In our experiment, we will use two genotypes including a control to allow the bean genotype to indirectly select microbes that improve the SNF. After several cycles of this process, the soil will be evaluated for microbe diversity and determine if they can be extended to other bean genotypes to improve SNF.