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A mixture of plant secretions, bacteria, and soil particles that surrounds the tip of plant roots. It contains complex polysaccharides called mucilages which are secreted by the root cap and help to lubricate passage of the growing root tip through the soil. However, the root tip also releases amino acids and sugars, which encourage the growth of bacteria, thought to assist in mobilizing soil nutrients for uptake by the root. See also rhizosphere.

Subjects: Biological Sciences.

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