Plants constantly interact with numerous of organisms and the outcome of these interactions determines plant health and growth. In other words, the phenotype of a plant is not only the result of the plant’s interaction with abiotic conditions, but also of multiple interactions in the living environment surrounding the plant, the phytobiome. In this Teaching Tool, we have focused on interactions between plants, microbes and arthropods (PMA). The organism groups that contribute to PMA interactions are presented as well as types of interactions between them, along with multiple examples of simple and more complex PMA interactions. The underlying mechanisms of plant responses are described in detail as well as the evolutionary aspects of PMA interactions. Finally, the use of PMA  interactions for crop protection in sustainable plant production that supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 is proposed.

Read about the authors of this Teaching Tool and their perspectives about this exciting topic.