Prof. Baars will teach a new course on Signaling and Metabolic Interactions in the Phytobiome, starting in the spring semester 2020. The course investigates the ‘biochemical interactome’ – molecules that are secreted by plants, micro- and macro-organisms for communication, for monopolizing or sharing of common resources, and for antagonistic interactions. These interactions can positively or negatively impact plant productivity, pathogen resilience, and biogeochemical cycles. Insight from new -omics tools have revealed a strong potential to use beneficial microbes in agriculture, and both academia and industry are researching and developing new microbiome-based approaches. A focus of the course will be on signaling and metabolic exchange between plants, cohabiting microbes, and their environment with a focus on plant-beneficial microbes and secondary metabolites. The course includes a review of current developments in analytical methods and experimental approaches to develop new microbiome-based products.