Managing plant health is a great challenge for modern food production and is further complicated by the lack of common ground between the many disciplines involved in disease control. Here we present the concept of rhizosphere immunity, in which plant health is considered as an ecosystem level property emerging from networks of interactions between plants, microbiota and the surrounding soil matrix. These interactions can potentially extend the innate plant immune system to a point where the rhizosphere immunity can fulfil all four core functions of a full immune system: pathogen prevention, recognition, response and homeostasis. We suggest that considering plant health from a meta-organism perspective will help in developing multidisciplinary pathogen management strategies that focus on steering the whole plant-microbe-soil networks instead of individual components. This might be achieved by bringing together the latest discoveries in phytopathology, microbiome research, soil science and agronomy to pave the way toward more sustainable and productive agriculture.
Wei, Z., Friman, V-P., Pommier, T., Geisen, S., Jousset, A., & Shen, Q. (2020). Rhizosphere immunity: targeting the underground for sustainable plant health management. Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering, 7(3), 317-328. https://doi.org/10.15302/J-FASE-2020346