The plant strengthening root endophyte Piriformospora indica: potential application and the biology behind.
The successful conversion of plant production systems from conventional resource-exhausting to sustainable strategies depends on knowledge-based management of environmental factors. Root-inhabiting fungi came more and more into focus because their hyphae connect in ideal manner resources and challenges of the surrounding with the plant. A paradigm for such root endophytes is presented by the basidiomycete Piriformospora indica. This fungus possesses a broad host spectrum and positively affects different aspects of plant performance. This so far unique combination of attributes makes P. indica and its close relatives among the Sebacinales very interesting tools for cultivation of various crops. This review will outline the different aspects required to apply this root endophyte in agri- and horticulture concerning plant growth, plant nutrition and plant defence or tolerance thereby explaining what is known about the biological basis for the observed effects. Open questions and challenges for successful inoculum production and application will be discussed.
Franken, P. 2012. The plant strengthening root endophyte Piriformospora indica: potential application and the biology behind. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 96 (6), 1455-1464.