How Do Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Promote Plant Growth?

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) penetrate the root and establish little areas in plant root cells where they can exchange nutrients with the plant. AMF improves the nutrients available to the plant by collecting soil minerals such as phosphorous, nitrogen, magnesium and manganese through an extensive network of fine fibers (hyphae) that increase the absorptive area of the root up to a hundred-fold. In return the plant feeds the fungi carbohydrates and lipids. AMF secrete hormone like substances that stimulate plant growth and AMF encourages the establishment of nitrogen fixing bacteria. The AMF boost to plant growth comes not only from the nutrients it supplies. AMF also improves the immune response of plants making them resistant to harmful nematodes and insects as well as fungal and bacterial pathogens.

AMF shows great promise in compensating for yield losses when chemical fertilizers are eliminated or greatly reduced. AMF can reduce the need for pesticides and phosphate and nitrogen fertilizers cutting back on input costs all while building healthier soil.

In light of the known importance AMF plays in your plant’s health, microBIOMETER® now provides the fungal to bacterial ratio of your soil. This information will further assist you on your road to healthy soil while helping you lower your costs.

Leifheit, E. F., Veresoglou, S. D., Lehmann, A., Morris, E. K., & Rillig, M. C. (2014). Multiple factors influence the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in soil aggregation—a meta-analysis. Plant and Soil, 374(1-2), 523-537.