A microbe that boosts plant growth needs to make storage polymers for both itself and the plant's sake!
Microbe of the episode
Microbe of the episode: Suid gammaherpesvirus 3
However, plants aren't making sugars all the time, because the sun goes down every day. So what do partner microbes do at these times? In this study, a beneficial microbe Herbaspirillum seropedicae was found to produce a storage compound called polyhydroxyalkanoate, or PHA, that it could use to store food for times of scarcity. Mutants of this microbe that could not make the storage compound weren't very beneficial for their plant partners.
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