A review of work on rhizosphere microbiota in Uganda


*E-mail: bgbdiversity@acadreg.mak.ac.ug


The rhizosphere is broadly defined as the soil volume under the influence of plant roots, enriched with exudates, secretions and mucilaginous materials. It supports an active microbial population distinctive from the bulk soil. Subsequently, there are many interactions between plant-microflora, plant-macro-fauna, microflora–macrofauna and soil-plant-microflora. Some relationships are positive and others parasitic. Significant among the beneficial ones are symbioses between leguminous plant species and legume nodule bacteria and mycorrhizal association occurring widely among plants. The former has been extensively studied and substantial gain made in harnessing biologically fixed nitrogen. Mycorrhizal investigations are still inadequate, especially production of commercial inoculants. Similarly, plant disease and their causative agents raise great concern hence a lot of work has been done. There other benefits that have not been well tapped like production of growth promoting substances and bio-control agents. Despite the evident importance of the rhizosphere there are no specific citations of deliberate studies on its micro-biota in Uganda. Therefore there is urgent need for research to determine, the abundance, diversity and distribution of rhizosphere biota, their impact on natural and agro-ecosystem functioning. The studies should also document indigenous knowledge, impact of current policies and build physical and human capacities to handle current and future challenges.