Seeds are central to food production and the maintenance of plant biodiversity. Still, seed microbiomes are understudied compared to other plant compartments. Here, I will present a meta-analysis on available seed microbiome studies (n=63) to synthesize the current knowledge on the composition and diversity of this habitat across 50 plant species. We also identified key knowledge gaps and emerging questions.
Based on this meta-analysis, we identified clear diversity and composition patterns that can help guide the construction of synthetic communities (SynComs) and seed microbiome engineering. I will present different proof of concept SynCom studies that provide new insights on the transmission of microorganisms from seeds to seedlings and the impact of seed microbiota on plant health.