The rhizosphere is the center of interactions between roots, soil, and microbes, where chemical exchanges are key drivers of microbial composition, plant productivity, and resilience to abiotic stress such as drought. Despite the knowledge that drought alters root exudate chemistry, the subsequent impact on rhizosphere processes and plant-microbe feedback is limited due to the rhizosphere’s physiochemical and biological complexity. Furthermore, although soil viruses are abundant and active in rhizosphere ecosystems, significant knowledge gaps exist in understanding their diversity, dynamics, and functional roles, which highlights the urgent need for investigating the viral component of rhizosphere microbial communities. A molecular-level understanding of plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions in the rhizosphere is crucial for maintaining plant productivity and ecosystem functioning in a changing environment. A failure to obtain this knowledge would severely limit the ability to predict, prepare for and counter challenges posed by future climate scenarios. To address this, we propose integrated experimental and modeling approaches to examine the effect of drought- altered exudate composition on rhizosphere microbial metabolism, gene expression and microbial host-virus dynamics. Our experimental tools will include mature tall wheatgrass (Thinopyrum ponticum) plants, a naturally evolved rhizosphere microbial community (MSC-3) with bacteria and fungi, and rhizosphere viruses isolated from tall wheatgrass (TWG). The rationale for the proposed research is that the multi-omic characterization of the key microbial taxa, expressed genes and bioactive metabolites involved will enable a mechanistic understanding of plant-microbe feedbacks during drought and inform the development of microbial or metabolite-based solutions to enhance plant performance.