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Trends Plant Sci. 2017 Aug;22(8):661-673. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2017.05.004. Epub 2017 Jun 7.

How Plant Root Exudates Shape the Nitrogen Cycle.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences and Canadian Centre for World Hunger Research (CCWHR), University of Toronto, Toronto M1C 1A4, ON, Canada; Département de Phytologie, Faculté des Sciences de l'Agriculture et de l'Alimentation (FSAA), Université Laval, Québec G1V 0A6, QC, Canada.
2
Department of Biological Sciences and Canadian Centre for World Hunger Research (CCWHR), University of Toronto, Toronto M1C 1A4, ON, Canada.
3
State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China.
4
Department of Biological Sciences and Canadian Centre for World Hunger Research (CCWHR), University of Toronto, Toronto M1C 1A4, ON, Canada; School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia. Electronic address: herbert.kronzucker@unimelb.edu.au.

Abstract

Although the global nitrogen (N) cycle is largely driven by soil microbes, plant root exudates can profoundly modify soil microbial communities and influence their N transformations. A detailed understanding is now beginning to emerge regarding the control that root exudates exert over two major soil N processes - nitrification and N2 fixation. We discuss recent breakthroughs in this area, including the identification of root exudates as nitrification inhibitors and as signaling compounds facilitating N-acquisition symbioses. We indicate gaps in current knowledge, including questions of how root exudates affect newly discovered microbial players and N-cycle components. A better understanding of these processes is urgent given the widespread inefficiencies in agricultural N use and their links to N pollution and climate change.

PMID:
28601419
DOI:
10.1016/j.tplants.2017.05.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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