Klaus Schläppi awarded ERC Consolidator Grant

Maize root Klaus Schläppi

The Swiss Society of Plant Biology congratulates its member Klaus Schlaeppi, professor at the University of Basel. He has just received an ERC Consolidator Grant for his project mifeePs - decoding microbiota feedbacks on plants

The Interactions between Plant and Microbiome
Prof. Dr. Klaus Schlaeppi's research focuses on the interaction between plant roots and their microbiome. A deeper understanding of these interactions could provide the basis for a more sustainable agriculture.

A plant’s microbiome consists of various bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms. These organisms can be found in the soil surrounding plant roots. Plants structure the composition of their microbiome and, similar to our gut microbiome, the plant microbiome assists its host with nutrient uptake, growth promotion and health. Because the roots and the surrounding microbiome remains in the soil, these microbes can have consequences for future generations of plants growing in that same soil. This is particularly important in crop rotations, where the microbiome of some cereals positively impacts the growth of certain follow-up crops.

Schlaeppi’s project “Microbial Feedbacks on Plants” will investigate the microbiome of maize plants. The goal is to identify why certain plants grow better on a soil microbiome that was formed by maize plants. This knowledge could allow a more efficient crop rotation where farmers would systematically plant crops that benefit from the microbiome of the pre-crop.

Learn more about his research by checking-out Klaus Schläppi's research portfolio.

University of Basel News

An ERC Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) provides funding to outstanding researchers to establish or maintain a research team at a public or private research institution within the EU or an associated country. The grants, which are part of the EU research framework program "Horizon Europe", are each endowed with approximately 2 million euros and awarded for a period of five years. Currently in the program, the European Commission (EC) treats Switzerland as a non-associated country, making it impossible for researchers from non-associated, non-EU countries to participate in European Commission projects.

Professor Klaus Schlaeppi applied for an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2021, when Switzerland was still eligible to apply. Since many UK researchers could not accept their grants due to the exclusion of the UK from all EU research programs, Schlaeppi now joins the distinguished group of researchers with a positively evaluated ERC project. His project will be funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation.