Special Issue "Microbiomes for the Sustainable Production of Safe and Secure Foods"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020) | Viewed by 35815
Interests: earth microbiomes, animal microbiome, plant microbiome, microbiome-human coevolution, microbiome biotechnology, metagenomics
Food systems play a Janus-faced role in the growth and development of the planet: while they provide human societies with food, they also exert strong pressures on natural resources. The related costs of these pressures on the environment are growing exponentially. Climate change is occurring faster than expected, and natural resources are being degraded more severely than previously thought. By 2050, the planet will be inhabited by 9.7 billion people, and this implies an unprecedented challenge for mankind. Food systems need to boost the production of safe and nutritious food while drastically reducing their footprint on natural resources. Microbiomes are central to human, plant, animal, and ultimately, planet health, and their exploitation has been indicated as one of the possible strategies to achieve sustainable production of safe and secure food for future generations. Indeed, microbiomes potentially represent an untapped resource of probiotic functions for all the actors involved in the food system, improving productivity, quality, safety, and sustainability of the whole food production chain. In particular, animal and plant microbiomes can be of strategic importance to improve food productivity and quality thanks to their positive impact on host physiology, energy homeostasis, and feed efficiency. On the other hand, environmental microbiomes can be crucial to achieving a sustainable intensification of food systems by enhancing the ecosystem capacity to buffer the food system pressures on the environment. However, to reach the ambitious goal of a microbiome-optimized and sustainable food system, more knowledge on food system microbiomes still needs to be produced. Only with a better understanding of their dynamics, circulation, and ecological services, we will be able to model (and mold) their optimal configuration for sustainable food production.
Prof. Dr. Marco Candela
Dr. Elena Biagi
Manuscript Submission Information
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- food systems
- food security
- food production
- food quality