Not even one year in, CIRCLES has the first research results from our tomato food chain experiments!

Our researchers were looking into how bacterial communities that are usually found near roots of plants in the soil develop through the lifecycle of tomato plants, and how that development is affected by the application of fertilizers.

What the team involving Davide Bulgarelli from the University of Dundee (UK) found was:

  • The bacterial species in the microbiota communities in soil in which tomatoes are grown changes throughout the lifecylce of the plant
  • Depending on whether the bacterial community is close to the soil surface or deeper amongst the roots, the bacteria in a microbial community differ
  • Fertilizers contribute to bacterial enrichment in the microbiota communities of the tomato plant
  • Fertilizers increase the crop yield at the end of the season

Why is that important?

Once we understand what affects the microbiota, researchers can find solutions to help improve soil health which will affect plant growth and ensure future food security. The experiment undertaken in CIRCLES is contributing towards such knowledge.

Want to know more?

Find the whole research article here: Caradonia et al. 2019 Phytobiomes Journal (doi:

Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay