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Plant-associated bacterial degradation of toxic organic compounds in soil.A number of toxic synthetic organic compounds can contaminate environmental soil through either local (e.g., industrial) or diffuse (e.g., agricultural) contamination. Increased levels of these toxic organic compounds in the environment have been associated with human health risks including cancer. Plant-associated bacteria, such as endophytic bacteria (non-pathogenic bacteria that occur naturally in plants) and rhizospheric bacteria (bacteria that live on and near the roots of plants), have been shown to contribute to biodegradation of toxic organic compounds in contaminated soil and could have potential for improving phytoremediation. Endophytic and rhizospheric bacterial degradation of toxic organic compounds (either naturally occurring or genetically enhanced) in contaminated soil in the environment could have positive implications for human health worldwide and is the subject of this review.