Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)


soil microbiome; strategic outline; scientific question; vision perspective

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In the past three decades, soil microbiology has emerged as a hotspot for transdisciplinary integration of earth science and life science. The remarkable diversity and vast number of microbes in soil are termed microbial engine being primarily responsible for the global cycling of the key elements on earth. Ironically, it is estimated that the majority of these tiny organisms remains unknown, and these untapped resources are defined as microbial dark matters. Collectively, these countless microbes and their physiochemical soil environments are considered as soil microbiome, which has attracted huge attention across a wide range of fields including sustainable agriculture, high-tech industry, environment protection, and medicine science. In fact, soil microbiome is being recognized as one of the strategic high ground of a new round of science and technology revolution. This review summarizes the progress of soil microbiome, outlines the key scientific questions, synthesizes the major advances of China Soil Microbiome Initiative, highlights the challenges and opportunities ahead of soil microbiomes in China, and concludes with capacity building through various pathways to advance soil microbiomes researches.

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Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences


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