Rhizosphere chemical dialogues: plant-microbe interactions

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2009 Dec;20(6):642-50. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2009.09.014. Epub 2009 Oct 28.


Every organism on earth relies on associations with its neighbors to sustain life. For example, plants form associations with neighboring plants, microflora, and microfauna, while humans maintain symbiotic associations with intestinal microbial flora, which is indispensable for nutrient assimilation and development of the innate immune system. Most of these associations are facilitated by chemical cues exchanged between the host and the symbionts. In the rhizosphere, which includes plant roots and the surrounding area of soil influenced by the roots, plants exude chemicals to effectively communicate with their neighboring soil organisms. Here we review the current literature pertaining to the chemical communication that exists between plants and microorganisms and the biological processes they sustain.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biotechnology / methods
  • Ecosystem*
  • Plant Diseases
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena
  • Plant Roots / microbiology*
  • Plant Roots / physiology*
  • Plants / microbiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Soil / analysis
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Symbiosis


  • Soil