, Volume 231, Issue 3, pp 499–506

Belowground volatiles facilitate interactions between plant roots and soil organisms


DOI: 10.1007/s00425-009-1076-2

Cite this article as:
Wenke, K., Kai, M. & Piechulla, B. Planta (2010) 231: 499. doi:10.1007/s00425-009-1076-2


Many interactions between organisms are based on the emission and perception of volatiles. The principle of using volatile metabolites as communication signals for chemo-attractant or repellent for species-specific interactions or mediators for cell-to-cell recognition does not stop at an apparently unsuitable or inappropriate environment. These infochemicals do not only diffuse through the atmosphere to process their actions aboveground, but belowground volatile interactions are similarly complex. This review summarizes various eucaryotes (e.g., plant (roots), invertebrates, fungi) and procaryotes (e.g., rhizobacteria) which are involved in these volatile-mediated interactions. The soil volatiles cannot be neglected anymore, but have to be considered in the future as valuable infochemicals to understand the entire integrity of the ecosystems.


VolatilesVOCsBelowgroundSoilRhizosphereRhizobacteriaPlant rootsSoil fungi



Volatile organic compound

Supplementary material

425_2009_1076_MOESM1_ESM.doc (64 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 63.5 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Institut für BiowissenschaftenUniversity of RostockRostockGermany