Rhizosphere: its structure, bacterial diversity and significance

  • Pratibha Prashar
  • Neera Kapoor
  • Sarita Sachdeva
Review paper


Sustainable agricultural practices are the answer to multifaceted problems that have resulted due to prolonged and indiscriminate use of chemical based agronomic tools to improve crop productions for the last many decades. The hunt for suitable ecofriendly options to replace the chemical fertilizers and pesticides has thus been aggravated. Owing to their versatile and unmatchable capacities microbial agents offer an attractive and feasible option to develop the biological tools to replace/supplement the chemicals. Exploring the microorganisms that reside in close proximity to the plant is thus a justified move in the direction to achieve this target. One of the most lucrative options is to look into the rhizosphere. Rhizosphere may be defined as the narrow zone of soil that surrounds and get influenced by the roots of the plants. It is rich in nutrients compared to the bulk soil and hence exhibit intense biological and chemical activities. A wide range of macro and microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, virus, protozoa, algae, nematodes and microarthropods co-exist in rhizosphere and show a variety of interactions between themselves as well as with the plant. Plant friendly bacteria residing in rhizosphere which exert beneficial affect on it are called as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Here we review the structure and bacterial diversity of the rhizosphere. The major points discussed here are: (1) structure and composition of the rhizosphere (2) range of bacteria found in rhizosphere and their interactions with the plant with a particular emphasis on PGPR (3) mechanisms of plant growth promotion by the PGPR (4) rhizosphere competence.


Sustainable agriculture Rhizosphere Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria Plant–microbe interactions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pratibha Prashar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Neera Kapoor
    • 1
  • Sarita Sachdeva
    • 2
  1. 1.School of SciencesIGNOUNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyFET, MRIUFaridabadIndia

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