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Review

The Chemistry of Stress: Understanding the ‘Cry for Help’ of Plant Roots

1
Department of Microbial Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Institute of Biology, Leiden University, 2333 BE Leiden, The Netherlands
3
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1871 Copenhagen, Denmark
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nicole van Dam and Remington X. Poulin
Metabolites 2021, 11(6), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11060357
Received: 29 April 2021 / Revised: 31 May 2021 / Accepted: 1 June 2021 / Published: 2 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in Chemical Ecology)
Plants are faced with various biotic and abiotic stresses during their life cycle. To withstand these stresses, plants have evolved adaptive strategies including the production of a wide array of primary and secondary metabolites. Some of these metabolites can have direct defensive effects, while others act as chemical cues attracting beneficial (micro)organisms for protection. Similar to aboveground plant tissues, plant roots also appear to have evolved “a cry for help” response upon exposure to stress, leading to the recruitment of beneficial microorganisms to help minimize the damage caused by the stress. Furthermore, emerging evidence indicates that microbial recruitment to the plant roots is, at least in part, mediated by quantitative and/or qualitative changes in root exudate composition. Both volatile and water-soluble compounds have been implicated as important signals for the recruitment and activation of beneficial root-associated microbes. Here we provide an overview of our current understanding of belowground chemical communication, particularly how stressed plants shape its protective root microbiome. View Full-Text
Keywords: abiotic and biotic stresses; cry-for-help; root exudates; volatiles; plant-microbe interactions abiotic and biotic stresses; cry-for-help; root exudates; volatiles; plant-microbe interactions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rizaludin, M.S.; Stopnisek, N.; Raaijmakers, J.M.; Garbeva, P. The Chemistry of Stress: Understanding the ‘Cry for Help’ of Plant Roots. Metabolites 2021, 11, 357. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11060357

AMA Style

Rizaludin MS, Stopnisek N, Raaijmakers JM, Garbeva P. The Chemistry of Stress: Understanding the ‘Cry for Help’ of Plant Roots. Metabolites. 2021; 11(6):357. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11060357

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rizaludin, Muhammad S., Nejc Stopnisek, Jos M. Raaijmakers, and Paolina Garbeva. 2021. "The Chemistry of Stress: Understanding the ‘Cry for Help’ of Plant Roots" Metabolites 11, no. 6: 357. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11060357

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