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Application of Specific Ectomycorrhizal Fungi in World Forestry

  • Donald H. Marx
  • Stephen B. Maul
  • Charles E. Cordell

Abstract

Feeder roots of plants support a great number of microorganisms that strongly affect plant health. Microbial associations with roots of higher plants are sapro­trophic, pathogenic, and symbiotic. Mycorrhizae are the most widespread form of symbiotic associations on plant roots. The term mycorrhiza (fungus-root) describes a structure that results from a mutually beneficial association between the fine feeder roots of plants and highly specialized, root-inhabiting fungi. Mycorrhizae are active, living components of the soil and have some of the properties of roots and some of the properties of the obligate fungi. Mycorrhizal fungi derive most, if not all, of their organic nutrition (carbohydrates, vitamins, amino acids) from the primary cortical tissues of fine roots. Evidence suggests that the mycorrhizal habit evolved as a survival mechanism for both the fungi and the higher plants in the association, allowing each to survive in the existing environments of low soil fertility, periodic drought, disease, extreme temperature, and other natural stresses. Because of this coevolutionary process, mycorrhizae are as common on the root systems of trees and other plants in natural soils as chloroplasts are in leaves. The vast majority of plants in natural environments have mycorrhizae. The type of mycorrhizae present and the degree of mycorrhizal development on the plant’s roots vary widely, however. Well over 5000 scientific publications describe mycorrhizae.

Keywords

Ectomycorrhizal Fungus Fungal Symbiont Savannah River Site Feeder Root Pisolithus Tinctorius 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald H. Marx
  • Stephen B. Maul
  • Charles E. Cordell

There are no affiliations available

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