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Molecular Aspects of Plant Beneficial Microbes in Agriculture
2020, Pages 209-219

Volatile organic compounds mediated plant-microbe interactions in soil

Waseem Raza, Qirong Shen

Jiangsu Provincial Key Lab for Organic Solid Waste Utilization, National Engineering Research Center for Organic-based Fertilizers, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Solid Organic Waste Resource Utilization, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China.


Microbes residing in the soil produce a diverse array of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can generate drastic changes in plant growth and health. Each microbe produces a specific mixture of VOCs that plays important roles not only in the life cycle of microbes, but also in their interactions with other organisms including microbes and plants. In this chapter, we described the mechanisms by which VOCs mediate plant growth promotion and protection against abiotic and biotic stress. The VOCs not only improve photosynthesis and nutrient uptake, but also modulates plant growth hormones and ultimately increase the quality and yield of plants. The VOCs directly inhibit pathogen growth and its virulence traits, but also induced plant defense against both biotic and abiotic stress. Plant roots secrete VOCs that help in the recruitment of beneficial microbes and insects. There are considerable reports on the microbial VOCs mediated effects on plant growth and health; however, the information of underlying mechanisms of action is still limited.

Keywords:Abiotic stress; Beneficial microbes; Biotic stress; Cell to cell communication; Plant growth promotion.

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