The role of root exudates in rhizosphere interactions with plants and other organisms

Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2006;57:233-66. doi: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.57.032905.105159.


The rhizosphere encompasses the millimeters of soil surrounding a plant root where complex biological and ecological processes occur. This review describes recent advances in elucidating the role of root exudates in interactions between plant roots and other plants, microbes, and nematodes present in the rhizosphere. Evidence indicating that root exudates may take part in the signaling events that initiate the execution of these interactions is also presented. Various positive and negative plant-plant and plant-microbe interactions are highlighted and described from the molecular to the ecosystem scale. Furthermore, methodologies to address these interactions under laboratory conditions are presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / microbiology
  • Plant Roots / physiology*