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Harnessing Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (Amf) for Quality Seedling Production

Author Affiliations

  • 1College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA
  • 2College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA
  • 3College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA
  • 4College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA

Res. J. Agriculture & Forestry Sci., Volume 3, Issue (6), Pages 22-40, June,8 (2015)

Abstract

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF), a group of obligate biotrophic fungi belonging to the Phylum Glomeromycota are among the oldest fungi in terrestrial systems on earth. Symbiotic associations of AMF and plant roots are widespread in the natural environment and can provide a range of benefits to the host plant. These include improved nutrition, enhanced resistance to soil-borne pests and disease, improved resistance to drought, tolerance of heavy metals and better soil structure. AMF is an unexploited potential biofertilizer in forest nurseries which can be utilized for quality tree seedling production. In many forest tree seedlings the inoculation of AMF was found beneficial, resulting in seedlings of higher quality. The high percentage of root colonization in AMF treated seedlings is found to be directly correlated with an improved growth and physiology. Presence of AMF significantly increases root surface area by production of extensive hyphae, increase transpiration, reduce leaf temperature and restrain the decomposition of chlorophyll. The AMF host obtains maximum benefit when the mineral nutrient regime is least favourable for growth. Hyphae work as conduits that transport carbon from plant roots to other soil organisms involved in nutrient cycling processes.

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