A perspective on inter-kingdom signaling in plant–beneficial microbe interactions
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Recent work has shown that the rhizospheric and phyllospheric microbiomes of plants are composed of highly diverse microbial species. Though the information pertaining to the diversity of the aboveground and belowground microbes associated with plants is known, an understanding of the mechanisms by which these diverse microbes function is still in its infancy. Plants are sessile organisms, that depend upon chemical signals to interact with the microbiota. Of late, the studies related to the impact of microbes on plants have gained much traction in the research literature, supporting diverse functional roles of microbes on plant health. However, how these microbes interact as a community to confer beneficial traits to plants is still poorly understood. Recent advances in the use of “biologicals” as bio-fertilizers and biocontrol agents for sustainable agricultural practices is promising, and a fundamental understanding of how microbes in community work on plants could help this approach be more successful. This review attempts to highlight the importance of different signaling events that mediate a beneficial plant microbe interaction. Fundamental research is needed to understand how plants react to different benign microbes and how these microbes are interacting with each other. This review highlights the importance of chemical signaling, and biochemical and genetic events which determine the efficacy of benign microbes to promote the development of beneficial traits in plants.
KeywordsAboveground Belowground Microbiome Phyllosphere Rhizosphere
H. P. B and D. J. S. acknowledge the support from BASF through a company-sponsored project to University of Delaware.
HPB and DJS conceived the outline of the review. AR, UB and VL wrote the individual sections of the review.
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