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Do genetic modifications in crops affect soil fungi? a review

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Biology and Fertility of Soils

Springer Nature

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      The unseen majority: soil microbes as drivers of plant diversity and productivity in terrestrial ecosystems.

      Microbes are the unseen majority in soil and comprise a large portion of life's genetic diversity. Despite their abundance, the impact of soil microbes on ecosystem processes is still poorly understood. Here we explore the various roles that soil microbes play in terrestrial ecosystems with special emphasis on their contribution to plant productivity and diversity. Soil microbes are important regulators of plant productivity, especially in nutrient poor ecosystems where plant symbionts are responsible for the acquisition of limiting nutrients. Mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria are responsible for c. 5-20% (grassland and savannah) to 80% (temperate and boreal forests) of all nitrogen, and up to 75% of phosphorus, that is acquired by plants annually. Free-living microbes also strongly regulate plant productivity, through the mineralization of, and competition for, nutrients that sustain plant productivity. Soil microbes, including microbial pathogens, are also important regulators of plant community dynamics and plant diversity, determining plant abundance and, in some cases, facilitating invasion by exotic plants. Conservative estimates suggest that c. 20 000 plant species are completely dependent on microbial symbionts for growth and survival pointing to the importance of soil microbes as regulators of plant species richness on Earth. Overall, this review shows that soil microbes must be considered as important drivers of plant diversity and productivity in terrestrial ecosystems.
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        Mycorrhizal fungal diversity determines plant biodiversity, ecosystem variability and productivity

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          Plant species and soil type cooperatively shape the structure and function of microbial communities in the rhizosphere.

          The rhizosphere is of central importance not only for plant nutrition, health and quality but also for microorganism-driven carbon sequestration, ecosystem functioning and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. A multitude of biotic and abiotic factors are assumed to influence the structural and functional diversity of microbial communities in the rhizosphere. In this review, recent studies on the influence of the two factors, plant species and soil type, on rhizosphere-associated microbial communities are discussed. Root exudates and the response of microorganisms to the latter as well as to root morphology were shown to shape rhizosphere microbial communities. All studies revealed that soil is the main reservoir for rhizosphere microorganisms. Many secrets of microbial life in the rhizosphere were recently uncovered due to the enormous progress in molecular and microscopic tools. Physiological and molecular data on the factors that drive selection processes in the rhizosphere are presented here. Furthermore, implications for agriculture, nature conservation and biotechnology will also be discussed.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Biology and Fertility of Soils
            Biol Fertil Soils
            Springer Nature
            0178-2762
            1432-0789
            April 2014
            January 2014
            : 50
            : 3
            : 433-446
            10.1007/s00374-014-0895-x
            © 2014
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