Impact of plant domestication on rhizosphere microbiome assembly and functions

Juan Esteban Perez Jaramillo, Rodrigo Mendes, Jos Raaijmakers

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

357 Citations (Scopus)
380 Downloads (Pure)


The rhizosphere microbiome is pivotal for plant health and growth, providing defence against pests and diseases, facilitating nutrient acquisition and helping plants to withstand abiotic stresses. Plants can actively recruit members of the soil microbial community for positive feedbacks, but the underlying mechanisms and plant traits that drive microbiome assembly and functions are largely unknown. Domestication of plant species has substantially contributed to human civilization, but also caused a strong decrease in the genetic diversity of modern crop cultivars that may have affected the ability of plants to establish beneficial associations with rhizosphere microbes. Here, we review how plants shape the rhizosphere microbiome and how domestication may have impacted rhizosphere microbiome assembly and functions via habitat expansion and via changes in crop management practices, root exudation, root architecture, and plant litter quality. We also propose a “back to the roots” framework that comprises the exploration of the microbiome of indigenous plants and their native habitats for the identification of plant and microbial traits with the ultimate goal to reinstate beneficial associations that may have been undermined during plant domestication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-644
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Rhizosphere microbiome
  • Plant domestication
  • Wild relatives
  • Plant–microbe interactions
  • international


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