Mycorrhizal associations between a fungus and a plant root are widespread in the natural environment. From an agricultural point of view, they help improve nutrition that enhances growth and fitness of the plant and improves resistance to soil-borne pests and diseases.
There are several different types but the arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) is the most common.
This review, written in 2003 by Dr A Hodge (University of York), Dr P Gosling (HDRA - now Garden Organic), Dr G Goodlass (ADAS) and Dr G Bending (HRI), covers the following areas in the study of AMF:
- AM propagules, fungal culture and the common mycelial network (CMN)
- Taxonomy and phylogeny of AM fungi (AMF)
- Anatomy of AM mycorrhizas
- Measurement and identification of AMs
- AM root colonisation assessment
- AM external hyphal length assessment and problems
- Identification of AMF by molecular techniques
- AMF in agriculture
- Control of disease and pests
- Water Relations
- Soil Structure
- Impact of agriculture on AMF
- Organic amendments
- Mycorrhiza in organic agriculture
- Manipulation of AMF in Agriculture
- Direct inoculation or native AMF?
- Commercial availability
- Literature review on AMF for DEFRA.pdf
Arbuscular fungi in organic systems
These are the findings from research on organic management of tilled agricultural soils.
Organic management of tilled agricultural soils results in a rapid increase in colonisation potential and spore populations of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. This important report, by Paul Gosling, Ayako Ozakib, Julie Jonesa, Mary Turnera, Francis Rayns, Gary D. Bending, was funded and published by DEFRA in 2010.
Using soil samples from 12 different locations in England (one each from conventionally farmed land, and one from nearby organic land), the report highlights the greater presence of mycorrhizal fungi in organic as opposed to non-organic agricultural land.
Arbuscular fungi in organic systems.pdf