Rodrigo Mendes



“The role of microbiome in plant development”


Microbial communities play a pivotal role in the functioning of plants by influencing their physiology and development. While many members of the rhizosphere microbiome are beneficial to plant growth, also plant pathogenic microorganisms colonize the rhizosphere striving to break through the protective microbial shield and to overcome the innate plant defense mechanisms in order to cause disease. A third group of microorganisms that can be found in the rhizosphere are the true and opportunistic human pathogenic bacteria, which can be carried on or in plant tissue and may cause disease when introduced into debilitated humans. Although the importance of the rhizosphere microbiome for plant growth has been widely recognized, for the vast majority of rhizosphere microorganisms no knowledge exists.

To enhance plant growth and health, it is essential to know which microorganism is present in the rhizosphere microbiome and what they are doing. Here, we discuss the main functions of rhizosphere microorganisms and how they impact on health and disease. We discuss the mechanisms involved in the multitrophic interactions and chemical dialogues that occur in the rhizosphere.


Director Investigación & Desarrollo de Embrapa Ambiental, Cooperación Brasilera de Investigación Agrícola, Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería y Suministro de Alimentos (BR)

Investigador Científico Senior en Microbiomas Vegetales, Laboratorio de Microbiología Ambiental de Embrapa Ambiental (BR)

PostDoc “Microbioma Rizosférico”, Laboratorio de Fitopatología, Universidad de Wageningen (NL)


BSc en Agronomía de la Universidad de Sao Paulo (BR)

PhD en Genética y Fitomejoramiento de la Universidad de Sao Paulo (BR) y la Universidad de Wageningen (NL)


“Our research focuses on the interactions between complex microbial communities and their hosts, aiming to understand how microbiomes support and sustain life of superior organisms. Our projects explore ecological aspects of the microbiomes using molecular techniques and next-generation sequencing”.


FAPESP Fondo Investigador Junior (2012-2016)

Premio Frederico de Menezes Veiga 2015 (Investigador Junior)

Premio Trofeu Fumagalli 2018 (Ciencias)

Premio Productividad Científica desde 2016


PÉREZ-JARAMILLO, JE; CARRIÓN, VJ; BOSSE, M; FERRÃO, LFV; DE HOLLANDER, M; GARCIA, AAF; RAMÍREZ, CA; MENDES, R; RAAIJMAKERS, JM. LInking rhizosphere microbiome composition of wild and domesticated Phaseolus vulgaris to genotypic and root phenotypic traits. The ISME Journal (IF 9.302), 2015.

VAN DER VOORT, M; KEMPENAAR, M; VAN DRIEL, M; RAAIJMAKERS, JM; MENDES, R. Impact of soil heat on reassembly of bacterial communities in the rhizosphere microbiome and plant disease suppression. Ecology Letters (IF 10.689), 2016.

MENDES, R; RAAIJMAKERS, JM. Cross-kingdom similarities in microbiome functions. The ISME Journal (IF 9.302), 2015.

CHAPELLE, E; MENDES, R. et al. Fungal invasion of the rhizosphere microbiome. The ISME Journal (IF 9.302), 2015.

PEREZ-JARAMILLO, JE; MENDES, R. et al. Impact of plant domestication on rhizosphere microbiome assembly and functions. Plant Molecular Biology (IF 4,257), 2015.

MENDES, R. et al. The rhizosphere microbiome: significance of plant beneficial, plant pathogenic, and human pathogenic microorganisms. FEMS Microbiology Reviews (IF 13,244), 2013

MENDES, R. et al. Deciphering the Rhizosphere Microbiome for Disease-Suppressive Bacteria. Science (IF 33,611), 2011.