, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 111–126 | Cite as

Research on arbuscular mycorrhizae in Mexico: an historical synthesis and future prospects

  • Noé Manuel MontañoEmail author
  • Alejandro Alarcón
  • Sara Lucía Camargo-Ricalde
  • Laura Verónica Hernández-Cuevas
  • Javier Álvarez-Sánchez
  • Ma. del Carmen A. González-Chávez
  • Mayra E. Gavito
  • Irene Sánchez-Gallen
  • José Ramos-Zapata
  • Patricia Guadarrama
  • Ignacio E. Maldonado-Mendoza
  • Silvia Castillo-Argüero
  • Rosalva García-Sánchez
  • Dora Trejo
  • Ronald Ferrera-Cerrato


This review analyzes the historical development and advances of the research on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in Mexico, as well as the prospects for future research. AMF-research has been focused on studying both diversity and functionality in several ecosystems of Mexico, but mainly in the tropical dry and rainy ecosystems, and the agricultural systems. In Mexico, 95 species of AMF have been recorded, representing 41% of the known species worldwide. The functional effects of AMF colonization have been examined in approximately 10% of the known host plants, but greenhouse studies continue to dominate over those conducted under field conditions. Even though research to date has been at the organismic level, further effort is needed due to the high plant diversity in Mexico. Studies on AMF biomass under field conditions and more taxonomic determination are required based on morphological features, biochemical determinations (fatty acids) and molecular tools. In addition, ecophysiological and ecological in situ studies would help in understanding the relationships among AMF, soil fauna, nutrients, and host plants. The contribution of AMF to ecosystemic processes is a priority line of research that requires an integrated approach (inter- and multidisciplinary) in order to define the role of AM symbioses for biogeochemical models. The creation of a Mexican mycorrhizal research network has and will help to identify the main challenges. Generating similar research protocols, and sharing databases and experience will assist mycorrhizologists working under the diverse financial and ecological contexts that is to be found in Mexico and Latin America.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi diversity Mexico Mycorrhizal Research Symbiosis AMF in ecosystems 



Special thanks to Lucia Varela for her significant contributions on the study of mycorrhizal symbiosis in Mexico, and to Eduardo Chimal, Claudia De la Rosa-Mera, Ma. Jesús Sánchez-Colín, and Susana Adriana Montaño-Arias for their inputs. We also thank the critical comments of four anonymous reviewers and David Richardson who helped us to considerably improve the manuscript for publication. N.M. Montaño acknowledges Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa (UAM-I), Mexico, for a PROMEP-SEP fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noé Manuel Montaño
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alejandro Alarcón
    • 2
  • Sara Lucía Camargo-Ricalde
    • 1
  • Laura Verónica Hernández-Cuevas
    • 3
  • Javier Álvarez-Sánchez
    • 4
  • Ma. del Carmen A. González-Chávez
    • 2
  • Mayra E. Gavito
    • 5
  • Irene Sánchez-Gallen
    • 4
  • José Ramos-Zapata
    • 6
  • Patricia Guadarrama
    • 7
  • Ignacio E. Maldonado-Mendoza
    • 8
  • Silvia Castillo-Argüero
    • 4
  • Rosalva García-Sánchez
    • 9
  • Dora Trejo
    • 10
  • Ronald Ferrera-Cerrato
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Biología, División de Ciencias Biológicas y de la SaludUniversidad Autónoma Metropolitana-IztapalapaMéxicoMéxico
  2. 2.Colegio de PostgraduadosMontecilloMéxico
  3. 3.Centro de Investigación en Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad Autónoma de TlaxcalaIxtacuixtlaMéxico
  4. 4.Departamento de Ecología y Recursos Naturales, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Circuito exteriorCiudad UniversitariaMéxico
  5. 5.Centro de Investigaciones en EcosistemasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMoreliaMéxico
  6. 6.Departamento de Ecología Tropical, Campus de Ciencias Biológicas y AgropecuariasUniversidad Autónoma de YucatánItzimná MéridaMéxico
  7. 7.Unidad Multidisciplinaria de Docencia e Investigación, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoSisalMéxico
  8. 8.CIIDIR Unidad SinaloaInstituto Politécnico NacionalGuasaveMéxico
  9. 9.Laboratorio de Zonas Áridas, Facultad de Estudios Superiores ZaragozaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxicoMéxico
  10. 10.Facultad de Ciencias AgrícolasUniversidad Veracruzana campus XalapaXalapaMéxico

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