All plants are exposed to extremely large numbers of microorganisms; some are pathogenic and some beneficial. The potential damage that can be caused by pathogens appears to be held in check by beneficial microorganisms, many of which are probably unknown to us. Future exploitation of such interactions will be as dependent on a better understanding of the biology of plant-microbe interaction as on developments in biotechnology. Plant nutrition is influenced by nitrogen-fixing microorganisms, mycorrhizal fungi, and possibly other microorganisms. These existing symbioses can be exploited to improve the activities that we understand sufficiently well and to introduce novel functions into the symbionts. Whether the production of growth-promoting substances by microorganisms can be exploited for crop production or not remains to be established.
KeywordsNitrogen Fixation Mycorrhizal Fungus Rhizobium Strain Symbiotic Association Mycorrhizal Symbiosis
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