Coadaptationary Aspects of the Underground Communication Between Plants and Other Organisms
Soil microbial communities are comprised of a vast array of bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and other organisms. It is becoming increasingly clear that these communities are not passively determined but actively regulated by plants. This chapter discusses the role plant root exudates play in the active regulation of soil microbial communities. In addition, we discuss the potential role coadapted plant-soil microbial communities may play in agricultural sustainability and production. We suggest that minimal disruption in the plant microbial community should be maintained in order to achieve maximum long-term agricultural production by minimizing disease outbreaks and by reducing costly agricultural inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers.
KeywordsArbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungus Root Exudate Fungal Community Soil Microbial Community Arbuscular Mycorrhiza
We thank Mr. Derek Sonderegger for statistical analysis for visual representation of soil microbial evenness (Fig. 1). A.S. was supported by a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research Abroad. These studies were supported by the National Science Foundation (MCB-0950857 to JMV).
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