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Soil microbial influences on “One Health”

Updated: Apr 25

Authors: Ian L.Peppera & John P.Brooksb


The concept of “One Health” links environmental health to human health through interactions with soil, plants, and animals. This chapter emphasizes the importance of the soil microbiome in these complex interactions and how soil microbes can impact all aspects of our everyday lives, including: what infects us; what heals us; what we eat, drink, and breathe; and even the composition of our gut microbiome. Given the quantity and speed of new technological advances, it remains to be seen the extent to which we can manipulate soil microbial communities to improve environmental and human health. Possibilities include: genetic manipulation of plant chromosomes; “designer” rhizospheres with specific root border cells; and engineered microbial inoculants with desirable traits for rhizobial and mycorrhizal root/microbial interactions. Finally, note that development of new soil-based probiotics could improve human health by directly introducing soil microorganisms into the gut.


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