Recently published research from the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has shown that microbes taken from trees that grow beside mountain-fed streams in Washington could make phosphorus trapped in soil more accessible to agricultural crops. The research was published in October in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science.

Senior author and SEFS professor Sharon Doty said endophytes – bacteria or fungi that live inside a plant for at least some of their lifecycle – are like probiotics for plants, according to a UW New story about the research. In the past, Doty’s lab has shown that microbes help plants survive, even in environments with poor nutrients.

Read more about the study and why it’s important at UW News.