Progress and challenges in agricultural applications of arbuscular mycorrhizal Fungi

T. Fester, Ruairidh Sawers

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Abstract

Arbuscular mycorrhiza is a widespread interaction between plant roots and mutualistic fungi that both promotes plant mineral nutrition and supports stability in many natural ecosystems. Given the demand in current agriculture for these ecosystem services, it appears desirable to further integrate this interaction in currentmanagement schemes. While two different approaches can be identified in this regard, a number of problems have limited the agricultural application of mycorrhiza to date. In this review, the sensitivity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to certain agricultural management methods, the functional variability of arbuscularmycorrhizal fungi, and the variability of plant responsiveness will be discussed in particular. In addition we will focus on recent advances in the study of mycorrhiza in natural ecosystems, and illustrate how such knowledge might be used to further the integration of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in agricultural regimes, and so increase the sustainability and robustness of current practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-470
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Reviews in Plant Sciences
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2011

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science

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