Interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and organic material substrates

Angela Hodge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) associations are widespread and form between ca. two-thirds of all land plants and fungi in the phylum Glomeromycota. The association is a mutualistic symbiosis with the fungi enhancing nutrient capture for the plant while obtaining carbon in return. Although arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) lack any substantial saprophytic capability they do preferentially associate with various organic substrates and respond by hyphal proliferation, indicating the fungus derives a benefit from the organic substrate. AMF may also enhance decomposition of the organic material. The benefit to the host plant of this hyphal proliferation is not always apparent, particularly regarding nitrogen (N) transfer, and there may be circumstances under which both symbionts compete for the N released given both have a large demand for N. The results of various studies examining AMF responses to organic substrates and the interactions with other members of the soil community will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-99
Number of pages53
JournalAdvances in Applied Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2014


  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • Decomposition
  • Hyphal proliferation
  • Organic materials
  • Saprophytic capability

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