Industrial Applications of Soil Microbes

Volume: 3

Soil Mycorrhizae and Their Industrial Applications

Author(s): Debarshi Dasgupta, Abir Dey* and Mahesh C. Meena

Pp: 61-78 (18)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815079753124030006

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Over the past few decades, the growing body of research on mycorrhizal fungi has been exploring their roles in maintaining and enhancing a wide range of ecosystem functions. These functions include, and are not limited to, maintenance of soil health, plant nutrition, removing hazardous contaminants from soil, prevention of soil erosion, and suppressing pathogens in the soil. As a result, mycorrhizae offer great potential as ecosystem engineers, capable of meeting various objectives of sustainable agriculture, forestry, ecological restoration, and biodiversity conservation. In this chapter, we attempt to offer an insight into the fascinating world of such mutualistic interaction, some of the benefits it offers to our planet, some of its industrial applications, and why it is imperative to integrate mycorrhizae into discussions for a more sustainable future. We consider various types of mycorrhizae present in our ecosystems and their defining features and differences. After all, we discuss some of the major roles they play in ecosystem functioning. We then explore a few facets of their industrial importance in biofertilization and phytoremediation, which are increasingly recognized globally. We also discuss the issues that hinder the full-fledged utilization of such a mutualistic interaction. In conclusion, we will look at new avenues of research that mycorrhizal research is poised to explore. This chapter will give the readers a holistic view of the exciting world of plant-fungal mutualism and trigger them to explore the growing body of work probing into such fascinating members of our ecosystems.

Keywords: Ecological Restoration, Mutualism, Mycorrhizal Technology, Soil Fertility, Symbiosis.

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