The last two decades have seen an explosion in research about the beneficial microbial communities associated with plants and animals. Initially this explosion was driven by technological advances that enabled explorations of microbiomes on unprecedented scales. Increasingly, the drive is coming from conceptual advances that are the fruit of research investments into experimental systems to probe the functions of these beneficial microbes and their mechanisms of action. The Conference on Beneficial Microbes has been one of the premiere venues for this research. The 7th Conference on Beneficial Microbes was held July 8-11, 2018, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Union. The 308 attendees-representing academia, industry, journals, and funding agencies-participated in an intense 4-day meeting encompassing research frontiers in beneficial microbiology and microbiome science.
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