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Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in plant production of temperate agroecosystems.

The importance of arbuscular fungi for plant development and health is now widely demonstrated. However, although it is more and more evident that they are not only an integral part of many cultivated plants but also an essential component of soil fertility, their rational use in plant production is still in its infancy. Because of their role as bioregulators, biofertilizers, and biocontrol agents, they represent potentially important tools for new orientations in agriculture, particularly in Europe, where there is increasing demand for development of new plant management techniques that are less dependent on chemical inputs. The discovery of myc-mutants turned out to be an excellent tool for better understanding the ecophysiology of arbuscular mycorrhizas under field conditions and for allowing considerable progress in our knowledge on the genes controlling this symbiosis. Progress in this area, together with ongoing generation of specific nucleic acid probes for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, appear to be essential for promoting mycorrhizal biotechnology. Despite this, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi can already be exploited successfully in certain areas of plant production, such as orchards and ornamental nurseries.

Gianinazzi, S.; Trouvelot, A.; Lovato, P.; Van Tuinen, D.; Franken, P.; Gianinazzi-Pearson, V. 1995. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in plant production of temperate agroecosystems. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology 15 (3-4), 305-311.