Multifaceted impacts of bacteriophages in the plant microbiome

Britt Koskella, Tiffany B. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Citations (SciVal)


Plant-associated bacteria face multiple selection pressures within their environments and have evolved countless adaptations that both depend on and shape bacterial phenotype and their interaction with plant hosts. Explaining bacterial adaptation and evolution therefore requires considering each of these forces independently as well as their interactions. In this review, we examine how bacteriophage viruses (phages) can alter the ecology and evolution of plant-associated bacterial populations and communities. This includes influencing a bacterial population's response to both abiotic and biotic selection pressures and altering ecological interactions within the microbiome and between the bacteria and host plant. We outline specific ways in which phages can alter bacterial phenotype and discuss when and how this might impact plant-microbe interactions, including for plant pathogens. Finally, we highlight key open questions in phage-bacteria-plant research and offer suggestions for future study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-380
Number of pages20
JournalAnnual Review of Phytopathology
Early online date29 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2018


  • apparent competition
  • horizontal gene transfer
  • microbiota
  • pathogen virulence
  • phage
  • plant pathogen
  • prophage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Multifaceted impacts of bacteriophages in the plant microbiome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this