Biotechnological Advancements in Industrial Production of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi: Achievements, Challenges, and Future Prospects

  • Ankit Kumar
  • Reena Singh
  • Alok AdholeyaEmail author


The recent technological advancements in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM)–plant symbiosis have helped improve the potential applications of mycorrhizal biotechnology in agriculture, horticulture, landscaping, phytoremediation, and other areas of plant market. The most common conventional methods used for large-scale production of AM fungi include cultivation in pots with sterilized soil, aeroponics, hydroponics, or greenhouse-based in vivo methods. However, these techniques suffer from severe problems of cross-contamination in the inoculum production; therefore, production of high-quality inoculum remains a major challenge. The most advanced method is transformed root organ culture (ROC) to produce AM propagules without adulterated microbial contaminants under strictly controlled sterilized conditions after pure AM fungi are inoculated into the transformed root organ. The scientific breakthroughs and advancements in the field of mycorrhizal research during past two-to-three decades have resulted in new technological developments with different types of products and diverse modes of their applications. For example, mycorrhizal formulations are available in the market for seed coating, liquid applications, or biostimulants. An established symbiosis in the plant roots confirms the adaptation even under unsuitable soil or unfavorable climatic conditions. These advantages have led to an increasing demand for mycorrhiza products in the last few years. There is a growing interest among the enterprises in the developed as well as developing world for the production of mycorrhizae-based inoculum given the fact presented by the emerging market trends in developing economies. However, even today it is not possible to trace out the absolute origin of the fungal species/strain used in commercial inoculum. Despite the regulatory challenges imposed by the regulatory bodies to maintain the highest quality standards, a significant number of commercialized products may still be found in the market which claims for extensive and effective mycorrhizal colonization even though they lack the necessary potential for this. This review provides an updated overview of the recent developments in the technology adoption and commercial production of mycorrhizae-based quality inoculum.


AM fungi AM symbiosis Biofertilizers Rhizophagus irregularis Glomus Mycorrhization Phytoremediation 



We sincerely thank Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi, India, for providing the infrastructure and environment for developing the technology and kind cooperation with regard to the subsequent refinements developed thereafter.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biotechnology & Bioresources DivisionCentre for Mycorrhizal Research, The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI)New DelhiIndia

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