Phyllosphere Microbiology is a subject matter committee of The American Phytopathological Society (APS). It focuses on microbes associated with aerial tissues of plants, which may include leaves, flowers, and fruits. Goals of the committee are to increase awareness of the biology and ecology of aerial plant-associated microbes and to foster communication among those interested in the microbiology of the phyllosphere. Traditional focus in this field has been on microorganisms that cause foliar diseases or that can be used as biocontrol agents to prevent such diseases. Recent innovations in technology have broadened this focus by revealing that pathogens and their antagonists are part of a much larger, complex, and diverse community of microorganisms, the so-called phyllosphere microbiota. Another development of importance is the continuing concern about contamination of leafy greens with human pathogens. This has opened the discipline to nontraditional phyllosphere microbiologists, which is a trend that the committee welcomes and perceives as a confirmation of the highly cross-disciplinary character and composition of the phyllosphere research community. The committee continues to explore different channels through which to share the excitement and importance of phyllosphere microbiology with professionals and the general public and to highlight the unique nature of above-ground plant tissues as a microbial habitat as well as the interactions among plant-associated microbes and with their plant hosts, which impact plant and human health.
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