The intensive effort, Rodriguez believes, will pay off by helping farmers meet future food demands. Modifying traits genetically is expensive, does not always work and generates a fair amount of consumer backlash. Improving crop production with the plant’s own microorganisms might be more successful on a host of fronts. Says Rodriguez: “We’re trying to duplicate the way it works in nature—using not genes but entire genomes from the plant’s own microbial community.”
This article was originally published with the title More Food from Fungi?.