Plant Root Secretions and Their Interactions with Neighbors

  • Clelia De-la-Peña
  • Dayakar V. Badri
  • Víctor M. Loyola-Vargas
Part of the Signaling and Communication in Plants book series (SIGCOMM, volume 12)


The rhizosphere biology at the molecular level has advanced dramatically since last decade. The continuous supply of carbon compounds from plant roots engages complex interactions among rhizosphere organisms including interactions between microbes and plants and between plants with other plants being these of the same or different species. Root exudation is part of the rhizodeposition process, which is a major source of soil organic carbon released by plant roots which clearly represents a significant carbon cost to the plant. Root exudates also play a role in soil nutrient availability by altering soil chemistry and soil biological processes. Different studies have highlighted that the rhizosphere soil surrounded by plant roots is more abundant in microbes than the nonrhizosphere soils. Therefore, the major responses in the interaction between plants and microbes must happen in that limited zone. Plants respond to the presence of microbes by releasing a mixture of phytochemicals, volatiles, and high-molecular-weight compounds. Soil microbes, on the other hand, modulate the secretion of root exudates to positively regulate plant growth and disease resistance. Several negative interactions are mediated by root exudates including antimicrobial, biofilm inhibitors, and quorum-sensing mimics to prevent soil-borne pathogens. There is a need to understand these rhizospheric multitrophic interactions in the realistic field conditions to improve the plant growth at species and community level. In addition, studies should be conducted in the field conditions to understand the rhizospheric complex interactions in monocultures and polycultures. This will help to understand the dynamics of interactions and their outcome in influencing the plant’s success when they are in monocultures and in polycultures. The combination of techniques and the continuous development of new techniques in the field of rhizosphere biology coupled with systems approach will allow us partly to elucidate these complex interactions under field conditions.


Soil Organic Carbon Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungus Root Exudate Panicum Virgatum Hairy Root Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The work in our laboratories was supported by CONACYT grants (VMLV, 61415 and CDS, 121768).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clelia De-la-Peña
    • 1
  • Dayakar V. Badri
    • 2
  • Víctor M. Loyola-Vargas
    • 3
  1. 1.Unidad de BiotecnologíaCentro de Investigación Científica de YucatánMéridaMéxico
  2. 2.Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and Center for Rhizosphere BiologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.Unidad de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular de PlantasCentro de Investigación Científica de YucatánMéridaMéxico

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