About this Research Topic
The phytobiome consist of the plant, its environment, and associated organisms. Nematodes are a significant part of the phytobiome. However, their role within the interactive network of plant-associated organisms is not well understood. Plant-parasitic nematodes interact with the plant by feeding on plant cells. Endoparasites invade the root, migrate within the root cortex, and the sedentary endoparasites establish feeding sites that are required for completion of their life cycle. As a result, plant defense mechanisms are initiated, plant physiology is changed and root exudation altered. This has consequences for the microbiome structure inside the plant, in the rhizosphere soil, and thereby may affect the plant-soil feedback. It was suggested that plants acquire and maintain a specific set of microbes for assistance in the defense against plant-parasitic nematodes.
Free-living nematodes in the rhizosphere affect nutrient mineralization by grazing on microorganisms. Environmental factors can influence those processes. These modifications are reflected in the structure and relative composition of the soil microbiome. In this way, its biological function can positively or negatively affect plant development or plant-pathogen interaction. Entomopathogenic nematodes have a symbiotic association with insect-pathogenic bacteria and protect plants from insect pests above and below ground.
This Research Topic welcomes Review, Opinion and Original Research articles that provide new insights into the ecology and molecular biology of the interactions between nematodes and plants, their symbionts, other plant-associated organisms, and the soil microbiome.
In particular (but not limited to), we welcome:
1. Studies with focus on harnessing plant-microbe and nematode-microbe interactions as well as plant-soil feedback to suppress plant-parasitic nematodes in agroecosystems.
2. Studies on ecological links between above ground biota and below ground nematodes, and the trophic cascade across plants.
3. Recent findings on the role of microbial communities in shaping nematode communities or populations:
- Studies on the microbiomes at various stages of the life cycle of plant-parasitic nematodes, or studies on disease complexes of microbes and nematodes
- How the nematode-associated microbiome structure is influenced by soil, plant, inoculants or agricultural practices
- The mechanisms by which the microbiome or specific microbial species affect nematodes.
4. Studies on the role(s) of semiochemical signaling in microbe-nematode-plant interactions that affect microbiome and nematode community composition and plant growth.
5. Studies on the effect of microvorous nematodes or nematode community structure on the composition or activity of microbes within phytobiomes.
Keywords: Nematodes, Phytobiome, Plant-soil feedback, Rhizosphere, Nematode-microbial interaction
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.