Root exudation

At field scale, root windows are used to investigate the root exudation pattern, which play a critical role in the interaction between plant and soil microorganisms. Rhizodeposition and root exudation represent the driving forces for rhizosphere processes with significant effects on the rhizosphere microbiota assembly and its functions, which in turn can exert stimulatory or inhibitory effects on plant pathogens. Moreover, rhizodeposition is assumed to be selectively influenced by agricultural practice. Therefore, we included root exudate analyses in our research using localized, non-invasive exudate sampling techniques in the field combined with analytical profiling approaches (HPLC-MS). The root window approach in the field enables us to assess potential relationships between inhibition of pathogens and promotion of beneficial microbiota with the plant root exudation patterns.

Installation procedure of root windows in maize. (Video: UH)