Disentangling arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and bacteria at the soil-root interface

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Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are essential components of the plant root mycobiome and are found in approximately 80% of land plants. As obligate plant symbionts, AMF harbor their own microbiota, both inside and outside the plant root system. AMF-associated bacteria (AAB) possess various functional traits, including nitrogen fixation, organic and inorganic phosphate mobilization, growth hormone production, biofilm production, enzymatic capabilities, and biocontrol against pathogen attacks, which not only contribute to the health of the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis but also promote plant growth. Because of this, there is increasing interest in the diversity, functioning, and mechanisms that underlie the complex interactions between AMF, AAB, and plant hosts. This review critically examines AMF-associated bacteria, focusing on AAB diversity, the factors driving richness and community composition of these bacteria across various ecosystems, along with the physical, chemical, and biological connections that enable AMF to select and recruit beneficial bacterial symbionts on and within their structures and hyphospheres. Additionally, potential applications of these bacteria in agriculture are discussed, emphasizing the potential importance of AMF fungal highways in engineering plant rhizosphere and endophyte bacteria communities, and the importance of a functional core of AAB taxa as a promising tool to improve plant and soil productivity. Thus, AMF and their highly diverse bacterial taxa represent important tools that could be efficiently explored in sustainable agriculture, carbon sequestration, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions related to nitrogen fertilizer applications. Nevertheless, future studies adopting integrated multidisciplinary approaches are crucial to better understand AAB functional diversity and the mechanisms that govern these tripartite relationships.




Basiru, S., Ait Si Mhand, K., & Hijri, M. (2023, June 1). Disentangling arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and bacteria at the soil-root interface. Mycorrhiza. Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00572-023-01107-7

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