VAM Association in Weeds: Its Significance

  • Rajni Gupta
  • K. G. Mukerji


Plant roots provide an ecological niche for many of the microorganisms that abound in soil. German Botanist Albert Bernand Frank in 1885 introduced the Greek world “mycorrhiza”, which literally means “fungus root”. In natural ecosystems much of the root system can be colonized by mycorrhizal fungi. Colonization is restricted to the root cortex and does not enter the vascular cylinder. Two major types of mycorrhizal associations, vesicular arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM) and ectomycorrhiza (ECM) occupy the roots of the majority of plants in natural ecosystems throughout the world (Brundrett, 1991; Sharma and Mukerji, 1996). These associations play a valuable role in plant nutrient uptake in nature. The nature and abundance of propagules of mycorrhizal fungi determine their persistence in soil during periods of inactivity, their response to disturbance, their resistance to predation by other soil organisms and their capacity for dispersal to new locations (Brundrett, 1991; Brundrett and Abbott, 1994). Propagules of vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are thought to include spores, dead root fragments and other colonized organic material as well as networks of hyphae in soil. Hyphal networks are considered to be especially important in many soils, where they can survive drought conditions, but are more sensitive than other propagules to soil disturbance (Jasper et al., 1989). Propagules of ECM fungi include networks of mycelial strands, old mycorrhizal roots, sclerotia and basidiocarps (Ba et al., 1991).


Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Mycorrhizal Fungus Sand Dune Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Mycorrhizal Colonization 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajni Gupta
    • 1
  • K. G. Mukerji
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Mycology Laboratory Department of BotanyUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia

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