Horticulture is the branch of agriculture that deals with the art, science, technology and business of cultivating plants. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, sprouts, mushrooms, algae, flowers, seaweed, and non-food crops such as grass and ornamental trees and plants. It also includes plant protection, landscape restoration, landscape and garden design, construction, and maintenance, and planting, of ornamental trees, and lawns.
Horticulture crops are an integral part of food, nutritional and economic security in India. Horticultural crops phytobiome research explores the importance of native microbial communities that regulate plant growth and health. Little is known about the composition, structure and dynamics of horticulture-associated microbial communities, as well as the functional contributions of cultured and non-cultured community members that directly contribute to nutrient acquisition, growth promotion, resilience and tolerance against pathogens. are included. against abiotic stresses (heat, drought and salinity). Due to the increasing demand for crop production, there is a need to explore the functional mechanisms of microbial communities through modern molecular approaches. Recent advances in molecular approaches such as DNA fingerprinting, sequencing methods, microarray, DNA barcoding, metagenomics and, DNA/RNA probe techniques have the potential to detect microbial communities and provide an opportunity to better understand and utilize this resource. This chapter reviews the importance and functioning of horticultural crops associated with microbial communities through advanced molecular technologies. It discusses the challenges of uncovering the complex network of genetic, microbial and metabolic interactions between microbial community members and horticultural crops.