Microbial Activity in the Rhizosphere
The rhizosphere is a very complex environment in which the effects of the plant on soil microorganisms and the effects of the microorganisms on the plant are interacting and are interdependent. Plant root exudates and breakdownproducts attract microbes and feed them and, in turn, the plants often bene?t from the microbes. Interactions among microorg- ismsandplantrootsareessentialfornutritionalrequirementsoftheplant. Plant growth, development and productivity are largely dependent on the soil environment in the root region rhizosphere. The new techniques of studying the rhizosphere enables us to get a much better understanding of the dynamics of the rhizosphere population, such rhizosphere studies beingofinteresttoagriculturists,soilbiologists,chemists,microbiologists andmolecularbiologists. The rhizosphere microbes in?uence the root environment in several ways. They may change the oxidation-reduction potential, in?uence the availabilityofmoistureandnutrients,producegrowthinhibitingorgrowth promoting substances in the form of exudates, provide competition and possiblyinducemanyothereffects.Mycorrhizalassociationsarebene?cial in mineral uptake and in increasing root surface area for effective ion absorption. Antagonism,competitionandsynergisminsoilandtherhizoplane(r- zosphere) are the most important microbial interactions to consider in the study of rhizosphere biology. With the growing information on the production of growth regulators, competitiveness of the microbes in the rhizosphere, microsymbionts, and other factors, their effect upon plant growth will become more evident. Experiments on the introduction of microbes or their products in the rhizosphere will help to improve our understandingofthebiologyoftherhizosphere.
Chapters are written by acknowledged scientists who have made significant contributions to the complex field of the rhizosphere