Standard Article


  1. Jos M. Raaijmakers

Published Online: 15 APR 2003

DOI: 10.1002/047126363X.agr325

Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals

Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals

How to Cite

Raaijmakers, J. M. 2003. Rhizosphere. Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals. .

Author Information

  1. Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2003


The rhizosphere is the narrow zone of soil influences by living roots, as manifested by the leakage and exudation of substances that affect microbial activity. The term rhizosphere was initially introduced in 1904 by Lorentz Hiltner in reference to the soil layer of intense bacterial activity surrounding roots of the Leguminoseae. Later, this definition was extended to include all plant species. The rhizosphere is an environment that the plant helps to create and where microbial activity constitutes a major influential force.


  • rhizosphere;
  • microbial activity;
  • Leguminoseae;
  • microorganisms;
  • bacteria;
  • fungi;
  • crop production systems;
  • rhizoplane