Encyclopedia of Soil Science

2008 Edition
| Editors: Ward Chesworth

Rhizosphere

  • Burl D. Meek
  • Ward Chesworth
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Michael Herlihy
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-3995-9_487

The rhizosphere comprises the small zones immediately surrounding plant roots in the soil, in which the kinds, numbers and activities of microorganisms differ from that in the bulk soil (Gregorich et al., 2001). Included are the microorganisms and the organic and inorganic materials released by the roots themselves. The rhizosphere is thus a poorly defined zone around any root, commonly extending out no more than 1 or 2 mm but occasionally as far as 20 mm. The name was originally proposed in 1904 by Hiltner for the volume of soil near legume roots in which the growth of heterotrophic bacteria might be stimulated by the nitrogen released from nodules (Neal et al., 1970). The meaning has since been expanded to cover roots of all plants.

The root surface and adhering soil particles are called the rhizoplane. It is rather distinct as compared to the rhizosphere. It is where microorganisms invade and modify the viscous mucilaginous coatings on the epidermal surfaces of roots.

The microbial...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Bibliography

  1. Gelsomino, A., Keijzer-Wolters, A.C., Cacco, G., and van Elsas, J.D., 1999. Assessment of bacterial community structure in soil by polymerase chain reaction and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. J. Microbiol Meth., 38: 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gregorich, E.G., Turchenek, L.W., Carter, M.R., and Angers, D.A., 2001. Soil and Environmental Science Dictionary. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 577 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Macura, J., 1967. Physiological studies of rhizosphere bacteria. In Gray, T.R.G., and Parkinson, D., eds., The Ecology of Soil Bacteria. Liverpool: University Press, pp. 379–395.Google Scholar
  4. Marschner, P., Yang, C.-H., Lieberei, R., and Crowley, D.E., 2001. Soil and plant specific effects on bacterial community composition in the rhizosphere. Soil Biol. Biochem., 33: 1437–1445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Neal, J.L., Jr., Atkinson, T.G., and Larson, R.I., 1970. Changes in the rhizosphere microflora of spring wheat induced by disomic substitution of a chromosome. Can. J. Microbiol., 16: 153–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Richards, R.A., Watt, M., and Rebetzke, G.J., 2007. Physiological traits and cereal germplasm for sustainable agricultural systems. Euphytica, 154: 409–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Rovira, A.D., and McDougall, B.M., 1967. Microbiological and biochemical aspects of the rhizosphere. In McLaren, A.D., and Peterson, G.H., eds., Soil Biochemistry, Vol. 1. New York: Marcel Dekker, pp. 417–463.Google Scholar
  8. Sylvia, D.M., Fuhrmann, J.J., Hartel, P.G., and Zuberer, D.A., 2005. Principles and Applications of Soil Microbiology. 2nd edn. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice-Hall, 640 pp.Google Scholar
  9. van Elsas, J.D., and Smalla, K., 1997. Methods for sampling soil microbes. In: Hurst, C.J., Knudsen, G.R., McInerney, M.J., Stetzenbach, L.D., and Walter, M.V., Ed., Manual of Environmental Microbiology. Washington, DC: ASM Press, pp. 383–390.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Burl D. Meek
  • Ward Chesworth
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Michael Herlihy

There are no affiliations available