root exudates

Roots help to sustain the soil organisms of the rhizosphere by exuding soluble substances, including sugars and amino acids, from the elongating region of the root near the root tip. Roots are also sheathed in a gummy ‘mucilaginous sheath’ under some circumstances. Some root exudates are toxic to pathogens or pests.

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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