Arbuscular Mycorrhizas: A Promising Component of Plant Production Systems Provided Favorable Conditions for their Growth
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi have become an attractive target as biostimulants in agriculture due to their known contributions to plant nutrient uptake and abiotic stress tolerance. However, inoculation with AM fungi can result in depressed, unchanged, or stimulated plant growth, which limits security of application in crop production systems. Crop production comprises high diversity and variability in atmospheric conditions, substrates, plant species, and more. In this review, we emphasize that we need integrative approaches for studying mycorrhizal symbioses in order to increase the predictability of growth outcomes and security of implementation of AM fungi into crop production. We briefly review known mechanisms of AM on nutrient uptake and drought tolerance of plants, on soil structure and soil hydraulic properties. We carve out that an important factor for both nutrient availability and drought tolerance is yet not well understood; the AM effects on soil hydraulic properties. We gave special emphasis to circular references between atmospheric conditions, soil hydraulic properties and plant nutrient and water uptake. We stress that interdisciplinary approaches are needed that account for a variability of atmospheric conditions and, how this would match to mycorrhizal functions and demands in a way that increased plant nutrient and water uptake can be effectively used for physiological processes and ultimately growth. Only with integrated analyses under a wide range of growing conditions, we will be able to make profound decisions whether or not to use AM in particular crop production systems or can adjust culture conditions in ways that AM plants thrive.
Bitterlich M, Rouphael Y, Graefe J, Franken P. 2018. Arbuscular Mycorrhizas: A Promising Component of Plant Production Systems Provided Favorable Conditions for their Growth. Frontiers in Plant Science 9:1329.