Influence of Xenobiotics on the Mycorrhizosphere

  • R. Koshila Ravi
  • S. Anusuya
  • M. Balachandar
  • S. Yuvarani
  • K. Nagaraj
  • T. Muthukumar


The pollution of air, soil and water by xenobiotics creates a disturbance to the ecosystem and cause climatic changes which pose a problem to the environment. Xenobiotics are unnatural toxic substances and include those chemicals used in agriculture such as pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Certain microorganisms in the indigenous environment have evolved mechanisms to degrade or transform the hazardous organic compounds into non-toxic substances but this ability appears to be extremely limited in plants. The rhizosphere along with the hyphosphere is termed as mycorrhizosphere. Bioremediation involves the interaction between plants and their associated microbes that reside in mycorrhizosphere. Plant roots release organic compounds called rhizodeposits that allows the growth of microbial communities. Under certain conditions, contaminants resemble rhizodeposits which stimulate the degradation process in the rhizosphere by inducing desired degradation pathways. The root exudates also provide signalling mechanisms that lead to complex interactions in the rhizosphere including symbiosis. Root colonizing symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi is mainly involved in degrading or maintaining a wide range of soil microorganisms that can breakdown environmentally persistent toxic pollutants due to their enzymatic activity. The mycorrhizal fungi colonize the cortical cells of the roots forming intraradical structures and extend their extraradical mycelium deep into the contaminated soil. These fungi are therefore able to reach the pollutants effectively and also modify the functions of existing enzymes in the rhizosphere to catalyse reactions leading to the degradation of xenobiotics. Rhizoremediation enables the plant to accumulate, translocate and metabolize the organic xenobiotics into harmless products thereby alleviating the toxicity in contaminated sites. This chapter highlights the concept of mycorrhizosphere, xenobiotic metabolism, molecular approaches for detoxifying the organic xenobiotics and the role of mycorrhizosphere in stabilizing the environment in an eco-friendly way.


Degradation Hyposphere Mycorrhizal fungi Remediation Rhizosphere Stress 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Koshila Ravi
    • 1
  • S. Anusuya
    • 1
  • M. Balachandar
    • 1
  • S. Yuvarani
    • 1
  • K. Nagaraj
    • 1
  • T. Muthukumar
    • 1
  1. 1.Root and Soil Biology Laboratory, Department of BotanyBharathiar UniversityCoimbatoreIndia

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