Dazzo, F. B. and A. Garoutte. 2017. Rhizosphere. Pages 17 in Reference Module in Life Sciences. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
First described by Hiltner in 1904, the rhizosphere is the important terrestrial habitat containing living roots and closely associated soil where exudates of utilizable nutrients stimulate microbial metabolism and productivity. The activities of the rhizosphere microbial community significantly influence many aspects of plant physiology and growth, making them important for terrestrial ecosystems and agriculture. This document summarizes current understanding of the rhizosphere and how research technologies have enhanced our knowledge of its ecology. It first describes rhizosphere characteristics obtained by traditional methods of microbiology, followed by more advanced methods of computer-assisted microscopy (confocal laser scanning microscopy and Center for Microbial Ecology Image Analysis System bioimage informatics software), and of molecular microbial ecology including ribosomal sequence analysis, functional gene array, stable isotope probing, and multi-omics approaches. These modern technologies have extended our understanding of important microbe–plant interactions in the rhizosphere, including their cell–cell communications, colonization behavior, metabolic activities, plant pathogenic interactions, microbial stimulated defense responses, and enhanced plant growth by plant growth-promotive rhizobacteria. Considered collectively, the rhizosphere impacts on agricultural production and sustainability, bioremediation, and effects of global climate change on natural environments.
Associated Treatment Areas:
ReviewSign in to download PDF back to index