Harnessing the potential of microbiomes: Before we can run, we need to learn how to walk!


Researcher in the Systems Ecology group – Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine – University of Luxembourg


Studying microbiomes is difficult! How do scientists approach this challenge? And why is a better understanding of microbiomes important for our food chains? The EU-funded project CIRCLES is tackling this and related challenges in an effort to unlock the great potential of microbiomes for sustainable food production.

Microorganisms are organisms that can only be observed with a microscope, and include for example bacteria, protozoa, algae, fungi, and viruses. They are everywhere to be found: in the environment, on plant leaves and roots, in and on our body. Hence, they are important from local scales, e.g., causing a localised infection on the skin or contributing to the nutrient uptake of plant roots, to global scales, e.g., in geochemical carbon cycling. Due to their small size and the large number of cells, they are challenging to study. When we know which microorganisms are there, what they can do and how they interact under different conditions, we enhance our understanding of the impact microorganisms can have. The insights we can get ultimately help to improve our food systems.


Copyright: Artwork by Valentina Galata, Postdoctoral researcher at University of Luxembourg (LCSB)


Within the EU-funded project CIRCLES (1) that I’m part ...