Loss of exudates from the roots of perennial ryegrass inoculated with a range of micro-organisms

A. A. Meharg*, K. Killham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


To determine the effect of microbial metabolites on the release of root exudates from perennial ryegrass, seedlings were pulse labelled with [14C]-CO2 in the presence of a range of soil micro-organisms. Microbial inoculants were spatially separated from roots by Millipore membranes so that root infection did not occur. Using this technique, only microbial metabolites affected root exudation. The effect of microbial metabolites on carbon assimilation and distribution and root exudation was determined for 15 microbial species. Assimilation of a pulse label varied by over 3.5 fold, dependent on inoculant. Distribution of the label between roots and shoots also varied with inoculant, but the carbon pool that was most sensitive to inoculation was root exudation. In the absence of a microbial inoculant only 1% of assimilated label was exuded. Inoculation of the microcosms always caused an increase in exudation but the percentage exuded varied greatly, within the range of 3-34%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-349
Number of pages5
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995


  • carbon flow
  • Lolium perenne L.
  • rhizosphere
  • root exudation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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