Root Biology pp 451-464 | Cite as

Relationship Between Arbuscular Mycorrhizas and Plant Growth: Improvement or Depression?

  • Li-Hui Lü
  • Ying-Ning Zou
  • Qiang-Sheng Wu
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 52)


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are a kind of beneficial microorganisms in soils, which can establish symbiotic association with ~80% of terrestrial plants, namely, arbuscular mycorrhizas. The symbiosis possesses bidirectional roles in mycorrhizal fungi and host plants: host plants provide photosynthates for the fungal partner; mycorrhizal fungi absorb water and nutrients from soils to plant partner. Mycorrhizal symbiosis has a typical effect on growth performance of host plants. In general, arbuscular mycorrhizas show a promoted effect on plant growth by means of increasing water and nutrient acquisition, soil improvement, phytohormone regulation, and root morphological improvement. Occasionally, no or depressed effects of mycorrhizas on plant growth are reported. The growth depression under mycorrhization may be due to the more carbon expenditure of mycorrhizas, the nutrient status of growth substrates, and root hair status. Essentially, mycorrhizal effects on plant growth are involved in mutualistic or parasitic association. This chapter provides the explanation regarding the improved or depressed effect of arbuscular mycorrhizas in plant growth. The future prospects are proposed.


Arbuscular mycorrhiza Carbon expenditure Mutualistic association Parasitic association Symbiosis 



This study was supported by the Plan in Scientific and Technological Innovation Team of Outstanding Young Scientist, Hubei Provincial Department of Education (T201604).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li-Hui Lü
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ying-Ning Zou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qiang-Sheng Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Horticulture and GardeningYangtze UniversityJingzhouChina
  2. 2.Institute of Root BiologyYangtze UniversityJingzhouChina

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