Journal of Plant Physiology & PathologyISSN: 2329-955X

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Opinion Article, J Plant Physiol Pathol Vol: 11 Issue: 3

Plant-Mediated Interactions in the Soil Microbiome

Vahab Khalili*

Department of Plant Biology, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

*Corresponding Author: Vahab Khalili,
Department of Plant Biology, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Received date: 24 April, 2023, Manuscript No. JPPP-23-101146;

Editor assigned date: 28 April, 2023, Pre QC No. JPPP-23-101146(PQ);

Reviewed date: 15 May, 2023, QC No. JPPP-23-101146;

Revised date: 23 May, 2023, Manuscript No. JPPP-23-101146 (R);

Published date: 31 May, 2023, DOI: 10.4172/2329-955X.1000302

Citation: Khalili V (2023) Plant-Mediated Interactions in the Soil Microbiome. J Plant Physiol Pathol 11:3.


The soil microbiome, composed of diverse microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, archaea, and viruses, plays an important role in soil health and ecosystem functioning. Plants, as key components of terrestrial ecosystems, have a profound influence on the structure and function of the soil microbiome. Through plant-mediated interactions, plants shape the composition and activity of soil microorganisms, which, in turn, have reciprocal effects on plant growth, nutrient cycling, and disease suppression. In this study, the intricate interactions between plants and the soil microbiome, highlighting their importance in promoting plant health and ecosystem sustainability will be discussed.

Plants and soil microorganisms engage in intricate signaling and communication processes, which form the basis of their interactions in the soil microbiome. Plants release a wide array of chemical compounds into the soil environment, including root exudates, volatile organic compounds, and signaling molecules. These compounds act as signals that attract beneficial microorganisms, facilitate symbiotic associations, or deter pathogens.

Root exudates, consisting of sugars, amino acids, organic acids, and secondary metabolites, serve as a food source for soil microorganisms. They can also function as signaling molecules, influencing microbial behavior and regulating microbial community dynamics. For instance, specific root exudates can attract beneficial rhizobacteria or mycorrhizal fungi, promoting symbiotic associations that enhance nutrient uptake and plant growth.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emitted by plant roots can act as chemical signals, attracting or repelling specific soil microorganisms. These VOCs can have antimicrobial properties, deterring pathogens and promoting plant health. Furthermore, VOCs can elicit responses in neighboring plants, inducing systemic resistance against pathogens or priming for enhanced defense. Plant roots and associated microorganisms communicate through the exchange of signaling molecules. For example, in the case of mycorrhizal symbiosis, plants release strigolactones that attract mycorrhizal fungi, which, provide the plants with enhanced nutrient uptake capabilities. Similarly, in the case of nitrogen-fixing nodules formed with rhizobia, plants release flavonoids that initiate the nodulation process, leading to the establishment of a beneficial symbiosis.

Plants influence the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities through various mechanisms. One mechanism is the selective allocation of resources through root exudation. Different plant species exude unique combinations of compounds, providing distinct niches in the soil microbiome. These niches select for specific microbial populations that can efficiently utilize the available resources.

Plants also modify soil conditions, such as pH, oxygen levels, and nutrient availability, which influence microbial community composition. For example, leguminous plants that form symbiotic associations with nitrogen-fixing bacteria provide oxygen-depleted environments within nodules, favoring the growth of anaerobic bacteria.

Rhizodeposition, the deposition of organic compounds by plant roots, provides microenvironments that directly impact microbial populations. Root-associated microorganisms, such as rhizobacteria and mycorrhizal fungi, colonize the rhizosphere, a zone of enhanced microbial activity and diversity surrounding the roots. The rhizosphere serves as a hot spot for nutrient cycling and microbial interactions, with plants providing carbon sources and niche-specific cues to shape microbial communities. Plant-microbe interactions also influence soil microbial functions and activities. Beneficial plant-microbe associations, such as mycorrhizal symbiosis and nitrogen fixation, enhance nutrient availability for plants and promote ecosystem productivity. Conversely, plant pathogens can manipulate soil microbial communities to provide conditions favorable for their own survival and virulence.

Furthermore, plants can indirectly influence soil microbial communities by altering resource availability through their effects on plant litter decomposition and organic matter dynamics. The composition and quality of plant litter impact the decomposer microbial communities, influencing nutrient cycling processes and soil fertility. Plant-mediated interactions in the soil microbiome are complex and dynamic processes that have far-reaching effects on plant health and ecosystem functioning. Through chemical signaling, resource allocation, and modification of soil conditions, plants shape the composition, diversity, and activities of soil microorganisms. In return, the soil microbiome influences plant nutrient uptake, disease resistance, and overall ecosystem sustainability. Understanding the intricate interactions between plants and the soil microbiome is essential for sustainable agriculture, ecosystem restoration, and the development of microbial-based strategies to enhance plant health and productivity.

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