We know how important bacteria and fungi are for the health of plants. In marine environments and in our own gut, bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) are important in regulating the microbiome. Yet, their effect on bacteria living around the roots of plants has hardly been studied. ‘I cannot believe that they are not important,’ says Joana Falcao Salles, Professor of Microbial Community Ecology at the University of Groningen.
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