What Is Mycorrhiza?

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MYCORRHIZAE AND FORESTRY
What is Mycorrhiza: Albert Bernard Frank (1885), in his study of relationships between soil microbes and plants, introduced the Greek term ‘mycorrhiza’, which means ‘fungus roots’. Mycorrhizas are highly evolved symbiotic association between roots of most higher/vascular plants and certain specialized soil fungi (Ascomycetes, Basidiomycetes and Zygomyectes) that colonize the root cortex during periods of active plant growth both in the natural environment and in cultivation. This is a non-pathogenic peaceful relationship because on one side fungus provides nourishment to the plant and on the other side, it obtains the necessary carbohydrates and energy from the host plant.
Types of Mycorrhizae : The mycorrhizal associations
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On the other hand, endomycorrhizal fungi actually penetrate into root cells and form tree like structures-“arbuscules”, which are thought to aid in nutrient exchange. They are also called- Arbuscular Mycorrhizal fungi (AM fungi).
Occurrence of Mycorrhizal Fungi : Mycorrhizal fungi are ubiquitous soil inhabitants colonizing >85% of land plants and are an important and integral component of natural ecosystems. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi comprise the most common mycorrhizal association forming symbiotic relationships with 90 % of plant families encompassing grasses, forbs, and some woody plants. Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi are also widespread in their distribution but associate with only 10 % of plant families and the vast majority of them are woody plants (e.g. Majority of the members of the oak and pine families).

ROLE OF MYCORRHIZAE IN FORESTRY:
Mycorrhizal associations are receiving considerable attention in world forestry. They are vital for the growth and development of most of the vascular plants performing both physiological and protective functions. These fungal hyphae function as extensions of the plant root system forming large networks of mycorrhizal

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