Industrial Applications of Soil Microbes

Volume: 3

Soil Mycorrhiza: Overview, Evolution, Agricultural, and Commercial Applications

Author(s): R. P. Raji Mol, K. S. Karthika*, Prabha Susan Philip and M. Chandrakala

Pp: 149-160 (12)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815079753124030011

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Mycorrhiza, meaning fungus root, is a typical example of an endophytic biotrophic and symbiotic relationship rampant in most cultivated and natural ecosystems. Mycorrhizal fungi are fungal species that are closely associated with plant roots, forming a symbiotic relationship resembling legume-rhizobium symbiosis with the plant providing carbohydrates for the fungi and the fungi providing mineral nutrients such as phosphorus and zinc to the plants. Mycorrhizae can enhance the growth of plant roots and even the whole plant system. In addition to nutrient transport, mycorrhizal associations can also impart considerable plant disease resistance against certain plant pathogens. Because of their greater surface area, mycorrhizae can improve plant vigour and soil quality. This chapter deals with the origin and evolution of mycorrhiza using paleontological evidence and phylogenetic analysis of its evolution and its agricultural and commercial applications. Mycorrhizae are important biofertilizers that improve plant nutrition and, thus, productivity by imparting tolerance and resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses and improving soil structure fertility and health and quality. 

Keywords: Ectomycorrhiza, Ectendomycorrhiza, Phytoremediation, Soil Health, Stress.

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