Understanding Rhizophagy

An in-depth course on soil microbiology, and how plants farm microbes.

Regen Ag Academy · October 13, 2020

How plants use endophytes in the rhizophagy cycle

Learn about how plants cultivate soil microbes on roots, and later absorb microbes into root cells to extract nutrients from them in the rhizophagy cycle. You will learn why it is important to preserve and manage healthy soil biology—and how plants use soil microbes to obtain soil nutrients, to become more stress tolerant and defend themselves from pathogens.

In this course James White describes the hidden interactions that occur between plants, soil microbes and soils.

Success of these hidden interactions demand that plants are grown in soils with a healthy and diverse microbial community. In essence plants ‘farm’ (or cultivate) microbes on roots, using the microbes to mine for nutrients in soils.  Afterward, plants then absorb microbes into root cells to extract nutrients from them in the rhizophagy cycle.

Topics covered in the course are the following:

  • What are endophytic microbes?
  • What benefits do plants get from endophytic microbes?
  • How plants ‘farm’ microbes in the rhizophagy cycle to acquire soil nutrients.
  • How plant biostimulant products work.
  • Other nutritional symbioses between plants and soil microbes.

This course provides a foundation of knowledge of soil and plant microbiology for students and practitioners of regenerative agriculture.

You can learn about the rhizophagy cycle in a podcast interview here and read more in the linked papers.

Rhizophagy Cycle: An Oxidative Process in Plants for Nutrient Extraction from Symbiotic Microbes

Pest Management Science: Review: Endophytic microbes and their potential applications in crop management

This course includes 5 video lessons and quizzes and takes approximately 6 hours to complete.

CEUs: 2.50 Nutrient Management
CEUs: 2.50 Soil & Water Management

About Instructor

Regen Ag Academy

Our mission is to communicate regenerative agriculture knowledge to growers and agronomists. We believe the next revolution in agriculture is a science-based agronomy revolution. Emerging science provides the foundation for developing regenerative agriculture ecosystems that produce more nutritious food per acre than present crop production systems, while also rebuilding soil health. Each of us can only attend so many live conferences in person. These courses allow you to learn the deep knowledge of an in-depth course at your convenience without the travel and time commitment. These courses detail how to develop and implement regenerative agriculture systems that promote plant and soil health and lead to economic sustainability.

6 Courses

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Course Includes

  • 5 Lessons
  • 5 Quizzes


  • Thank you for one more great course!
    Explains in a simple way the various forms of nutrient plants can absorb from the soil. I thought there was only one (ions solution) but with the help of soil microbiology, there are plenty. Plants can choose what they want when they need it! Thank you for one more great course!
    Francisco Sampaio Sérgio Pessoa
  • Such good information!
    I think all people in agriculture need to watch this lecture. Such good information!
    Scott Maricle