Bacterial populations and the collective microbiome in agricultural crops and harvested produce have always been a subject of interest to the agricultural research community. The understanding of the evolution, and function of the plant microbiome has increased exponentially over the past few years. Workshop organizers believe this is a growing field of interest and new commercial opportunities can be identified. In addition, new microbiome-based products are already reaching the marketplace.
The BARD-sponsored international workshop, "The Fruit Microbiome: A New Frontier" September 9th-13th, will bring together researchers and bioinformatic experts to explore current microbiome research its potential in agriculture and how current knowledge can be used to better understand the microbiome of harvested fruit crops and be used for postharvest disease management. It will also explore the potential impact of the microbiome on fruit physiology and tolerance to abiotic stresses. The workshop will also provide information on the use of microbiome data to develop novel products based on the use of microbial consortia to regulate fruit physiology and manage postharvest diseases.
Yoram Kapulnik, BARD's Executive Director: "The BARD-sponsored workshop led by Dr. Michael Wisniewski from, USDA-ARS, Kearneysville, WV, USA and Dr. Samir Droby, from the Agricultural Research Organization, Israel offers the opportunity to launch a new era of postharvest biocontrol research, a direction that will shape the discipline of postharvest biology research. The US Israel agricultural partnership through this BARD workshop will surely foster the development of microbiome-based technologies to effectively and consistently prevent decay of fresh produce. It will continually help maintain postharvest fruit quality and enhance the probiotic health benefits of harvested fruit and while reducing food waste
BARD's support has been instrumental in the advancement of the research in this field. The scientific workshop which focused on biological postharvest control of diseases was funded by BARD in 1990. Since then BARD has funded 3 other workshops and over 20 research projects dealing with this topic".
BARD- the U.S-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund, established in 1979, is a competitive funding program that supports collaborative agricultural research in areas of mutual interest to the U.S and Israel. BARD has funded outstanding agricultural science activities by leading researchers from the two countries. Its projects cover all phases of agricultural research and development, including integrated projects and strategic and applied research.