Mycorrhizal Fungi: Biodiversity, Ecological Significance, and Industrial Applications

  • Dheeraj Pandey
  • Harbans Kaur Kehri
  • Ifra Zoomi
  • Ovaid Akhtar
  • Amit K. Singh
Part of the Fungal Biology book series (FUNGBIO)


Mycorrhizae (“fungus roots”) are mutualistic symbiotic associations between fungi and plants. Mycorrhizal association was found to be established between Ordovician and Devonian period. Mycorrhizal association is present in almost all ecosystems with a high degree of host specificity. About 40,000–50,000 fungal species form mycorrhizal association with nearly about 250,000 plant species. There are different types of mycorrhizal associations, namely, arbuscular mycorrhiza (71%), ectomycorrhiza (2%), orchid mycorrhiza (10%), ericoid mycorrhiza (1.4%), non-mycorrhizal association (7%), and habitat- and nutritional-dependent association (8%). These symbiotic associations play a key role in evolution of land plants in reducing and harsh environment at that time. These symbiotic associations provide up to 80% of N and P and also help in plant growth and fitness. There are a number of scientific evidences which have suggested that mycorrhizal fungi not only improve crop yield but also increase antioxidants, vitamins, and essential trace elements in plants. Additionally, various researchers around the globe have investigated the effect of mycorrhizal fungi on production of secondary metabolites. Furthermore, application of mycorrhizal fungi is presently reaching to an industrial stage supported by widespread applied researches and marketable applications emphasizing an eco-friendly and sustainable aspects.


Application Arbuscular mycorrhiza Mutualism Mycorrhiza Remediation Stress 



The authors are thankful to the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, for providing financial assistance to carry out this study. Authors are also thankful to the head of Botany Department, University of Allahabad, for providing other facilities.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dheeraj Pandey
    • 1
  • Harbans Kaur Kehri
    • 1
  • Ifra Zoomi
    • 1
  • Ovaid Akhtar
    • 1
  • Amit K. Singh
    • 2
  1. 1.Sadasivan Mycopathology Laboratory, Department of BotanyUniversity of AllahabadAllahabadIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of AllahabadAllahabadIndia

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