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Tests in bags reflected the effects of heterosis when microbes were added.

Soil microbes play a surprising role in corn hybrid vigour

Research shows ‘what’s driving heterosis’ — and it’s more than just the genetics in the seed

The tiny organisms living in soil may have a greater effect than previously known on yield and crop resistance to pests and disease. Researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of Kansas have shown that soil microbes — such as viruses, bacteria and fungi — play a role in heterosis or hybrid vigour,