The rhizosphere : biochemistry and organic substances at the soil-plant interface

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In the rhizosphere, exudates from plants and microorganisms as well as stable soil organic matter influence processes that can control plant growth, microbial infections, and nutrient uptake. As the chemistry and biochemistry of these substances becomes more and more clear, their study promises to shed light on the complex interactions between plant and soil microflora. Maintaining the interdisciplinary approach of the first edition, The Rhizosphere: Biochemistry and Organic Substances at the Soil-Plant Interface, Second Edition summarizes information on soil science, agronomy, plant nutrition, plant physiology, microbiology, and biochemistry to provide a comprehensive and updated overview of the most recent advances in the field.

Revised and expanded, the second edition presents new information on areas that are only recently gaining importance for understanding the complex biochemistry of the soil-microbe-plant interaction.

New topics include the role of nutrient availability in regulating root morphology and architecture, the involvement of root membrane activities in determining and responding to the nutritional conditions in the rhizosphere, molecular signals between root-root and root-microbe, and gene flow and the evolution of rhizosphere organisms and their coevolution with plants. The book also covers mathematical modeling and methodological approaches to the study of the rhizosphere.

Figure 6 Schematic showing the difference between ectomycorrhizae and endomycorrhizae colonization of plant roots. Mechanisms underlying beneficial plant-fungus interactions in mycorrhizal symbiosis. Nature communications 1 doi The chemical dialogue that initiates mycorrhizal associations with plants is intricate and not as well understood as that of the Rhizobia.

In part, the lack of understanding rests in the fact that endomycorrhiza are obligate symbionts , meaning they cannot be grown independent of their plant hosts, which makes it difficult for scientists to study them in the lab under controlled conditions. For this reason, more is known about the development of the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis because the two partners can be grown independently.

The rhizosphere : biochemistry and organic substances at the soil-plant interface

In both cases, there is evidence that the fungus can sense the presence of volatiles CO 2 , or chemicals in plant root exudates which then initiates hyphal growth and branching Martin et al. Conversely, chemical signals from mycorrhizea which are perceived by the plant have long been suspected Kosuta et al. The chemical signals are aptly called Myc -factors which, interestingly, are similar in structure to the nod factors produced by rhizobia in the rhizobia-legume symbiosis.

It is still unclear whether the fungus produces the signals all the time or only when it senses the plant is near. Regardless, fungal spores in the soil remain in a resting state until one of these stimuli initiates germination and hyphal growth. If close to a root, hyphal growth and branching will increase and Myc -factors will initiate root branching presumably to improve the odds of root-fungus interception Figure 5b.

After making contact with the plant root, infection begins by either the formation of a hyphopodium in arbuscular mycorrhizae or growth between dermal cells in ectomycorrhizea. If a root is not in the vicinity, the hyphae stops growing and the spore returns to a vegetative state; subsisting off of its triacylglyceride and glycogen reserves.

Initiation of hyphal growth can occur multiple times until root interception is achieved. To capture nutrients for the plant, both the ecto- and endomycorrhizae extend hyphae centimeters into the soil resulting in a 10 fold increase in the effective root surface area and a fold increase in the uptake of phosphorus and other nutrients per unit root length compared to non-mycorrhizal plants.

It is not only the amount of hyphae that helps in nutrient acquisition, but also their small size et al. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria were first defined by Kloepper and Schroth as organisms that, after being inoculated on seeds, could successfully colonize plant roots and positively enhance plant growth. To date, there have been over two dozen genera of nonpathogenic rhizobacteria identified. Plant growth promotion can be shown to work directly on the plant in the absence of root pathogens by the release of plant growth stimulating compounds e.

Plant growth promotion can also occur indirectly by control of pathogens biocontrol via synthesis of antibiotics or secondary metabolite-mediated induced systemic resistance ISR van Loon, et al.

Soil Biology and Organic Matter - Ray Weil

The density and structure of the microbes on the root surface are dictated by nutrient availability and physicochemical variations throughout the root surface. Root exudates can serve as a food source and chemoattractant for microbes which then attach to the root surface and form microcolonies.


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Common sites for bacterial attachment and colonization are at epidermal cell junctions, root hairs, axial groves, cap cells, and sites of emerging lateral roots Danhorn et al. Microcolonies can eventually grow into larger biofilms consisting of multiple layers of bacteria which are encased in an exopolymeric matrix figure 5c.

In many cases the effectiveness of rhizobacteria at promoting growth occurs in a density dependant manner Rudrappa, et al. Once a critical microbial density is reached, the biofilms then begin to act in unison, in a process known as quorum sensing , coordinating the release of compounds that aid in the promotion of plant growth via the direct and indirect mechanism discussed previously.

The spatial extent and influence of the rhizosphere are dictated by root system architecture RSA Figure 2. Root system architecture is very malleable, determined by plant species and occurring in response to changing climactic, biological and edaphic conditions. The distribution of nutrients in soils is heterogeneous or patchy and there is evidence plants can "sense" the presence of nutrients and allocate more resources to the root system and direct root growth toward or within these patches Figure 7.

Examples include increased root depth in drought tolerant beans, wheat, and maize and an increase of dense shallow root systems leading to topsoil foraging for P in plants under low P conditions Ho et al , The nutrients themselves and the activity of specific molecular pathways involved in their acquisition may act to induce hormonal signals triggering increases in root density and length Lopez-Bucio et al. Because of the underground nature of plant roots, uncovering the mechanisms responsible for root foraging has been difficult, but full annotation of the Arabidopsis genome and a complete map of root cell types have dramatically increased our understanding of root biology and these processes Malamy and Benfey, ; Dinneny, et al , ; Benfey et al , Figure 7 Changes in roots system architecture RSA of barely Hordeum vulgare in response to zones of high phosphate, nitrate, ammonium and potassium availability.

The plastic plant: root responses to heterogeneous supplies of nutrients. New Phytol , 9—24 Roots serve many functions for a plant including anchorage and acquisition of vital nutrients and water necessary for growth. The plant root-soil interface is a dynamic region in which numerous biogeochemical processes take place driven by the physical activity, and the diversity of chemicals released by the plant root and mediated by soil microorganisms.

In turn the processes occurring in this region control a host of reactions regulating terrestrial carbon and other element cycling that sustain plant growth and which have an enormous influence on plant and microbial community function and structure which greatly influence a variety of ecosystem level processes van der Heijden et. Understanding and harnessing these interactions for the sustainable production of food, fuel and fiber to support a growing world population on a dwindling supply of arable land will be the challenge of generations to come.

Examples include fruiting trees and most annual and perennial flowering plants.

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The most common examples are grasses like corn, barley and wheat. The term "redox condition" refers to the environmental parameters controlling redox reactions i. The concept usually pertains to the soil-root interface but is sometimes extrapolated to other media-root interfaces Pinton et al. Bais, H. How plants communicate using the underground information superhighway.

Trends in Plant Science 9 1 Benfey, P. Getting to the root of plant biology: impact of the Arabidopsis genome sequence on root research. The plant journal. Bengough, A. Sloughing of root cap cells decreases the frictional resistance to maize Zea mays L. Bot , Vol. Berg, G. Smalla, K. Plant species and soil type cooperatively shape the sturcutre and function of microbial communities in the rhizosphere. FEMS Microbiol.

Buchanan, B. Danhorn T, Fuqua C. Biofilm formation by plant-associated bacteria. El-Morsy, E. Microfungi from the ectorhizosphere-rhizoplane zone of different halophytic plants from the Red Sea coast of Egypt. Mycologia 91 : Estermann, E. Contribution of rhizoplane organisms to the total capacity of plants to utilize organic nutrients. Plant and Soil 15 , Genre, A.

Bonfante Giles E. Oldroyd and J. Allan Downie. Annual Review of Plant Biology. Handelsman, J. Biocontrol of soilborne plant pathogens. Plant Cell 8 , Harrison M.

Signaling in the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. Hartmann A. Lorenz Hiltner, a pioneer in rhizosphere microbial ecology and soil bacteriology research.

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Hawes, M. Function of root border cells in plant health: Pioneers in the rhizosphere. Annual Review of Phytopathology 36 , The role of root border cells in plant defense. Beilageheft zu der Ztschr. Gesell, 98 Hirsch, A. What makes the rhizobia-legume symbiosis so special? Ho, M. Root architecture tradeoffs from water and phosphorus acquisition. Functional Plant Biology. Hodge, A. New Phytol. Jones, K. How rhizobial symbionts invade plants: the Sinorhizobium-Medicago model.

Methods of plant root exudates analysis: a review

Nature Reviews Microbiology. Jones, D. Plant Soil. Kloepper, J. Plant Pathogenic Bacteria Vol. Proposed Elimination of the Term Endorhizosphere. Phytopathology 82 , a. Biocontrol Science and Technology 2 , b. Knee, E. Root mucilage from pea and its utilization by rhizosphere bacteria as a sole carbon source. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 14 , Kosuta, S. Plant Physiol. Leong, J. Mechanisms of siderophore iron transport in enteric bacteria.

Liu, L. Phytopathology 85 , The role of nutrient availability in regulating root architecture. Lynch, J. Burns, R. Blackwell Scientific Publications Maillet, F. Fungal lipochitooligosaccharide symbiotic signals in arbuscular mycorrhizal. Malamy, J. Organization and cell differentiation in laterl roots of Arabidopsis thaliana. Martin, F. Developmental cross talking in the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis: signals and communication genes.

New Phytologist. Miller, M. Quorum Sensing in Bacteria. Annual Review of Microbiology 55 , Morrisseey, J. Are microbes at the root of a solution to world food production? EMBO rept. Newman, E. The rhizosphere: carbon sources and microbial populations. Ecological Interactions in Soil. Oxford, Blackwell Scientific Publications: p. Pinton, R. Raghothama, K.

Phosphate acquisition. Plant Mol. Raven, P. Biology of Plants W. Rillig M. Mycorrhizas and soil structure. New Phytologist , Plant Physiology 80 , Rudrappa, T. Causes and consequences of plant-assocaited biofilms. FEMS Mirobial. Selosse, M. Mycorrhizal networks" des liaisons dangereuses.

Sylvia, D. Tilman, D. Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices. The unseen majority" soil microbes as drivers of plant diversity and productivity in terrestrial ecosystems. Ecology Letters. Mycorrhizal fungal diversity determines plant biodiversity, ecosystem variability and productivity. Annual Review of Phytopathology.

Plant responses to plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria. Plant Pathol. Walker, T. Root Exudation and Rhizosphere Biology. Ecological linkages between aboveground and belowground biota. Wilcox HE.





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