The MATRIX: Microbiome Assisted Triticum Resilience In X-dimensions

MATRIX is focused on the abundant but poorly studied plant/microbial interactions occurring above ground. In this project, we will develop a scalable system-based strategy to harness the functional potential of plant microbiomes for improving crop resilience by focusing on experimental analyses and deep learning modelling of the microbial community associated with the aerial portions (phyllosphere microbiome) of wheat (Triticum aestivum), one of the most important cereal food crops worldwide. Extensive sampling of both field and greenhouse wheat under various gradients for (meta)genomics, metabolomics, and phenomics will provide foundational data to build a deep-learning predictive model of how hub microbes and metabolites influence wheat resilience and yield. These models will be iteratively tested with theoretical simulations and experimental validation to identify phyllosphere community members that are critical for productivity. Success for MATRIX will be the development of microbiome-assisted wheat cultivation practices that are resilient to ever-changing environmental stresses and resource


Meet our team:

Project Lead:

Professor Lars Hestbjerg Hansen

University of Copenhagen

Environmental Microbiology


Project Manager

Leise Riber


North Carolina State University

Professor Christine Hawkes
Associate Professor Ross Sozzani
USDA Professor Gina Brown-Guedira

Research Associate Mohammed Guedira

Research Associate Elizabeth Thomas

Research Assistant Nathaniel Matthew Yang



University of Copenhagen

Professor Jan H Christensen
Professor Svend Christensen
Associate Professor Rasmus Kjøller
Professor Mads Nielsen
Group Leader Simon Rasmussen

Research IT Coordinator Jesper Cairo Westergaard

Research Coordinator Majbrit Dela Cruz

Associate Professor Nikoline Juul Nielsen

Postdoctoral Researcher Sara Agnolet

Research Assistant Tomas Diera

Research Assistant Saiful Azim

Postdoctoral Researcher Alex Gobbi

Graduate Student Laura Milena Forero Junco

Graduate Student Marie Højmark Fischer


Technical University of Denmark

Professor Anders Bjorholm Dahl

Associate Professor Simon Rasmussen


Leiden University

Professor Jos M. Raaijmakers

Postdoctoral Researcher Viviane Cordovez da Cunha

Graduate Student Linda Gouka

Research Assistant Caroline Vogels