Editor: Ian Head
Are root exudates more important than other sources of rhizodeposits in structuring rhizosphere bacterial communities?
Article first published online: 8 MAR 2010
© 2010 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council UK. Journal compilation © 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd
FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume 72, Issue 3, pages 313–327, June 2010
How to Cite
Dennis, P. G., Miller, A. J. and Hirsch, P. R. (2010), Are root exudates more important than other sources of rhizodeposits in structuring rhizosphere bacterial communities?. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 72: 313–327. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2010.00860.x
Present address: Paul G. Dennis, SCRI Living Technology, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA, UK.
- Issue published online: 4 MAY 2010
- Article first published online: 8 MAR 2010
- Received 28 July 2009; revised 2 February 2010; accepted 19 February 2010.Final version published online 29 March 2010.
- root exudation;
- microbial ecology
This review evaluates the importance of root exudates in determining rhizosphere bacterial community structure. We present evidence that indicates that: (1) the direct influence of root exudates on rhizosphere bacterial communities is limited to small spatiotemporal windows related to root apices; (2) upon rapid assimilation by microorganisms, root exudates are modified, independent of plant influences, before rerelease into the rhizosphere by the microorganisms themselves – thus, at short distances from root apices, rhizosphere carbon pools are unlikely to be dominated by root exudates; and (3) many of the major compounds found in root exudates are ubiquitous in the rhizosphere as they are found in other pools of rhizodeposits and in microbial exudates. Following this argument, we suggest that the importance of root exudates in structuring rhizosphere bacterial communities needs to be considered in the context of the wider contribution of other rhizosphere carbon pools. Finally, we discuss the implications of rhizosphere bacterial distribution trends for the development of effective strategies to manage beneficial plant–microorganism interactions.