Rhizosphere: A Home for Human Pathogens

  • Richa Sharma
  • V. S. Bisaria
  • Shilpi SharmaEmail author


Rhizosphere is the zone where the microbe-mediated processes are influenced by root exudates. Owing to its high nutrient content due to root exudates, and ability to provide a safe home, it acts as a natural reservoir to not only beneficial bacteria but also to those which can be potential threat for humans, and hence acts as a ‘microbial hot spot’. There has been an increase in incidences of human infections by opportunistic human pathogens residing in the rhizosphere. Many bacterial species are known to have dual interactions with both plants and humans. These bacterial species share similar colonization mechanisms for the rhizosphere and human organs. Other phenomena of common occurrence in rhizosphere are the higher rate of horizontal gene transfer, enhanced competition, and presence of various antibiotics resulting in greater level of natural resistances. The present chapter highlights the prevalence and concern of human pathogens residing in the rhizosphere.


Rhizosphere Opportunistic human pathogens Horizontal gene transfer Microbial hot spot 



The study was supported by grant received from the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India (BT/PR5499/AGR/21/355/2012). RS wishes to acknowledge the fellowship received from CSIR, Government of India.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemical Engineering and BiotechnologyIndian Institute of Technology DelhiHauz KhasIndia

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