Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10174/8368

Title: Techniques for Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Inoculum Reduction
Authors: Brito, Isabel
Carvalho, Mário
Goss, Michael J.
Editors: Varma, A.
Keywords: Arbuscular Mycorrhiza
Inoculum
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Citation: Brito I, Carvalho M, Goss M J (2009) Techniques for Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Inoculum Reduction. In: Varma A and Kharkwal AC (eds) Symbiotic Fungi, principles and practice, Soil Biology 18, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, Germany. pp 307-318. ISBN: 978-3-540-95893-2
Abstract: It is well established that arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi can play a significant role in sustainable crop production and environmental conservation. With the increasing awareness of the ecological significance of mycorrhizas and their diversity, research needs to be directed away from simple records of their occurrence or casual speculation of their function (Smith and Read 1997). Rather, the need is for empirical studies and investigations of the quantitative aspects of the distribution of different types and their contribution to the function of ecosystems. There is no such thing as a fungal effect or a plant effect, but there is an interaction between both symbionts. This results from the AM fungi and plant community size and structure, soil and climatic conditions, and the interplay between all these factors (Kahiluoto et al. 2000). Consequently, it is readily understood that it is the problems associated with methodology that limit our understanding of the functioning and effects of AM fungi within field communities. Given the ubiquous presence of AM fungi, a major constraint to the evaluation of the activity of AM colonisation has been the need to account for the indigenous soil native inoculum. This has to be controlled (i.e. reduced or eliminated) if we are to obtain a true control treatment for analysis of arbuscular mycorrhizas in natural substrates. There are various procedures possible for achieving such an objective, and the purpose of this chapter is to provide details of a number of techniques and present some evaluation of their advantages and disadvantages. Although there have been a large number of experiments to investigated the effectiveness of different sterilization procedures for reducing pathogenic soil fungi, little information is available on their impact on beneficial organisms such as AM fungi. Furthermore, some of the techniques have been shown to affect physical and chemical soil characteristics as well as eliminate soil microorganisms that can interfere with the development of mycorrhizas, and this creates difficulties in the interpretation of results simply in terms of possible mycorrhizal activity. An important subject is the differentiation of methods that involve sterilization from those focussed on indigenous inoculum reduction. Soil sterilization aims to destroy or eliminate microbial cells while maintaining the existing chemical and physical characteristics of the soil (Wolf and Skipper 1994). Consequently, it is often used for experiments focussed on specific AM fungi, or to establish a negative control in some other types of study. In contrast, the purpose of inoculum reduction techniques is to create a perturbation that will interfere with mycorrhizal formation, although not necessarily eliminating any component group within the inoculum. Such an approach allows the establishment of different degrees of mycorrhizal formation between treatments and the study of relative effects. Frequently the basic techniques used to achieve complete sterilization or just an inoculum reduction may be similar but the desired outcome is accomplished by adjustments of the dosage or intensity of the treatment. The ultimate choice of methodology for establishing an adequate non-mycorrhizal control depends on the design of the particular experiments, the facilities available and the amount of soil requiring treatment.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10174/8368
ISBN: 978-3-540-95893-2
Type: bookPart
Appears in Collections:BIO - Publicações - Capítulos de Livros
ICAAM - Publicações - Capítulos de Livros

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