The degradation of symbiotic microbes within root cells; 'rhizophagy symbiosis', or 'rhizophagy cycle', is a cyclic process whereby plants obtain nutrients from symbiotic bacteria that alternate between a root intracellular endophytic phase and a free-living soil phase. Bacteria acquire soil nutrients in the free-living soil phase; nutrients are extracted from bacteria oxidatively in the intracellular endophytic phase.
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