What can we learn from Charles Darwin’s voyage? How did they influence his thinking and his conclusions? This means that for making new discoveries, it is necessary to leave the trodden paths and look into those corners that have not been inspected. And very often the most interesting discoveries are made in the most unexpected places.

These ideas lay the ground for the current project to investigate the huge microbial world on our plant. In honor to Charles Darwin and his discoveries made on the voyage of the HMS Beagle, the project was named DARWIN21 for revisiting the planet in the 21st century.

Establishment of a global knowledge base of desert rhizosphere microbes and their use in re-establishing sustainable agricultural systems in arid lands.
The identification of the rhizosphere microbes that are associated with pioneer plants that live under extreme heat, drought and/or salt conditions could lead to new metabolic pathways and compounds with applications in medicine, chemical engineering and synthetic biology and could result in new strategies to replant desert areas to transform them into sustainable agricultural systems.