An overview of microbial degradation in the rhizosphere and its implications for bioremediation

Todd A. Anderson, J. R. Coats

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A symposium entitled "Microbial Degradation of Organic Chemicals in the Rhizosphere and its Implications for Bioremediation" at the American Chemical Society illustrates that rhizosphere microbial communities could play in maintaining or remediating soil systems through metabolism of hazardous organic compounds in the root zone. The rhizosphere is a zone of increased microbial activity and biomass at the root-soil interface under the influence of the plant root. Existing evidence for microbial degradation in the root zone suggests that a diverse and synergistic microbial community, rather than a single microbial strain, is responsible for the enhanced biodegradation of xenobiotics in the rhizosphere compared with nonvegetated soils. A proposal that generated much discussion among the symposium participants and attendees was the idea put forth that plants may enlist rhizosphere microorganisms to degrade xenobiotics in the root zone, thus protecting the plant from chemical injury.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBioremediation
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Applications
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780891189381
ISBN (Print)9780891188193
StatePublished - Oct 26 2015


  • American Chemical Society
  • Bioremediation
  • Hazardous organic compounds
  • Microbial biomass
  • Microbial degradation
  • Rhizosphere microorganisms
  • Root-soil interface
  • Xenobiotic metabolism


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