Identification and analysis of the mycorrhizosphere of flowerbulbs

Virtually all plants rely on a symbiotic relationship with microorganisms. While many microorganisms are generally present in the soil, a more specialised microbiome is formed around the roots of the plant, called the mycorrhizosphere.

Surprisingly, the microbiome of soils are still poorly understood. Having a better understanding of what makes a ‘good’ soil microbiome is especially interesting for land that is intensely used for crops or production of flower bulb. Such businesses will need to move to a more biological approach due to regulations and resistance of pathogens. Knowing what makes a good microbiome for a specific crop could help this transition. Furthermore, such data may also help prevent crop losses which is a common problem for farmers.

Apart from the poorly understood microbiome of the soil, even less is known about the mycorrhizal species present in the soil and around the roots of the crops, while it is likely that crops will gather a beneficial mycorrhizal community around their roots. To shed more light on this you will focus on the microbiome in tulipfields and analyse the mycorrhizosphere occupying the roots of the flowerbulbs. In the last two years we have gathered a lot of data by isolating DNA from these soils and used metagenomics and Nanopore sequencing to learn more about the microbiomes present.

Last year we have also set up a method specifically for the mycorrhizosphere using sequencing of a mix of amplicons to identify species present. In this study, you will be continuing this work by thoroughly analysing the data that is present. Another goal is to translate these findings to make an easy-to-understand analysis for the farmers, telling them more about the microbiome in their fields and what this might mean for them.

Finally, you will also be able to extend the study on the mycorrhizosphere of tulipbulbs by isolating DNA from tulip roots and sequence this using the amplicon approach. The data that will come out is very exciting as basically nothing is known about these communities and you will be the first to properly analyse this. Such information is eagerly awaited by the tulip industry.


  • DNA isolatie
  • Metagenomics (16s sequencing)
  • qPCR
  • Amplicon


Type project Spin-off van RAAK-mkb project Geschikte bodem voor duurzame tulpenteelt
Looptijd n.v.t.
Status Lopend


Innovatieve Moleculaire Diagnostiek, Bio-informatica
Projectleiding Wouter van Zon (BM)
Docentonderzoeker(s) Wouter van Zon (BM)
Analist(en) Angela Hoogenboom
Student(en) 1 student BM 4e jaars
Partner(s) -