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Soil microbiomes can set plant flowering time

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Scientists grew Boechera stricta plants in soil inoculated with microbes from natural B. stricta habitats to study the flowering time phenotype.

The technique researchers employed to isolate soil microbes to study their effect on a single plant phenotype can potentially be applied to other studies involving microbes within a community and their potential effects on organism phenotypes.
Plant growth is determined by factors such as sunlight, water, and nutrient availability. Figuring out the effect of a particular factor, however, isn't always as easy as monitoring the plant's response to being grown in a dark room compared to how it would fare in the presence of light.

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