Endophyte roles in nutrient acquisition, root system architecture development and oxidative stress tolerance

S. K. Verma, P. K. Sahu, K. Kumar, G. Pal, S. K. Gond, R. N. Kharwar, J. F. White

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Plants associate with communities of microbes (bacteria and fungi) that play critical roles in plant development, nutrient acquisition and oxidative stress tolerance. The major share of plant microbiota is endophytes which inhabit plant tissues and help them in various capacities. In this article, we have reviewed what is presently known with regard to how endophytic microbes interact with plants to modulate root development, branching, root hair formation and their implications in overall plant development. Endophytic microbes link the interactions of plants, rhizospheric microbes and soil to promote nutrient solubilization and further vectoring these nutrients to the plant roots making the soil-plant-microbe continuum. Further, plant roots internalize microbes and oxidatively extract nutrients from microbes in the rhizophagy cycle. The oxidative interactions between endophytes and plants result in the acquisition of nutrients by plants and are also instrumental in oxidative stress tolerance of plants. It is evident that plants actively cultivate microbes internally, on surfaces and in soils to acquire nutrients, modulate development and improve health. Understanding this continuum could be of greater significance in connecting endophytes with the hidden half of the plant that can also be harnessed in applied terms to enhance nutrient acquisition through the development of favourable root system architecture for sustainable production under stress conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


  • endophyte
  • growth regulators
  • nutrient acquisition
  • rhizophagy cycle
  • root system architecture

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