Gao et al publish on EcoFAB: fabricated devices for studying model ecosystems

The importance of understanding microbe-plant interactions is becoming ever more important with the growing need for more sustainable agriculture and for understanding global nutrient cycling.  Lab and field studies have historically focused on simple lab consortia or complex natural microbiomes.  In these approaches, there exists numerous challenges, specifically in the reproducible nature of the experiments.  Thus, there exists a need for a standardized platform to study model ecosystem in the lab environment.  In a recent publication, Gao, et al, describes the design, construction and utility of a novel fabricated ecosystem device, the EcoFAB.  With EcoFAB, researchers across labs will have the capability to study model ecosystems in a way that attains observability, reproducibility, controllability and ecosimilarity all in one device.  The JoVE video below describes the fabrication process and a few applications of the EcoFAB devices.

Ecosystem Fabrication (EcoFAB) Protocols for The Construction of Laboratory Ecosystems Designed to Study Plant-microbe Interactions