Marschner Review

Plant and Soil

, Volume 329, Issue 1, pp 1-25

First online:

Release of plant-borne flavonoids into the rhizosphere and their role in plant nutrition

  • Stefano CescoAffiliated withDipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Ambientali, University of Udine Email author 
  • , Guenter NeumannAffiliated withInstitute of Plant Nutrition, University of Hohenheim
  • , Nicola TomasiAffiliated withDipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Ambientali, University of Udine
  • , Roberto PintonAffiliated withDipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Ambientali, University of Udine
  • , Laure WeisskopfAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, Botanical Institute, University of Zürich

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Plants release a multitude of organic compounds into the rhizosphere, some of which are flavonoids. These products of secondary metabolism are mainly studied for their antioxidant properties and for their role in the establishment of rhizobium-legume symbiosis; however, it has been recently demonstrated that flavonoids can also affect nutrient availability through soil chemical changes. This review will give an overview of the types and amounts of flavonoids released by roots of different plant species, as well as summarize the available knowledge on root exudation mechanisms. Subsequently, factors influencing their release will be reported, and the methodological approaches used in the literature will be critically described. Finally, the direct contribution of plant-borne flavonoids on the nitrogen, phosphorous and iron availability into the rhizosphere will be discussed.


Nutrient availability Nitrogen Phosphorous Iron Root exudates Transmembrane transport