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Abstract

The primary objective of this paper was to identify the economic, social and environmental impacts of plants and their beneficial microorganism interactions. As a plant example, the potato (Solanum tuberosum) has been chosen due to its worldwide nutritional and economic importance. Based on a systematic literature review, high importance effects were identified. From an economic point of view these were an increase in plant immunity and yield along with cost reductions and a reduction of abiotic and biotic stresses. From a social point of view, the importance of healthier food, a cleaner environment and resistant ecosystem were identified. From an environmental perspective, the effects of the increase of soil fertility and biodiversity as well as bioremediation opportunities were found to be important. The cross impact analysis of the identified effects indicate the primary importance of the economic effects, however their occurrence is determined by social effects, while the environmental ones are in a supporting position. It is argued, therefore, that the successful implementation of innovative products and technologies in potato production based on the plant – beneficial microorganism interactions will require economic empirical evidence and will be driven by social tension.

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