Plants grow in association with complex communities of organisms. Phytobiomes encompass all of the organisms and all aspects of the environment that influence or are influenced by plants. Due to the diverse and dynamic processes carried out by biome members, Phytobiomes have an important role in the sustained health and productivity of plants and plant ecosystems. Advances in systems biology approaches as well as supporting technologies, such as high-throughput sequencing, computational biology and many '-omics' technologies, are enabling exploration of the functional networks and activities of the component communities that comprise Phytobiomes. These research technologies in the lab are being paralleled by next-generation precision agriculture technologies in the field, creating unprecedented opportunities for translation of Phytobiomes knowledge into practice. Our fundamental knowledge of Phytobiomes is vital to ensuring sustained global food security in the face of increasing global population and threats to crop productivity due to climate change as well as water, land and nutrient constraints. Advancing a systems-level understanding of Phytobiomes and translating this knowledge into practice will require interactions across a spectrum of disciplines. This conference will bring together a broad and international community of scientists in the public and private sector to collectively advance this newly-emerging field.
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