Host-Fungus Specificity, Recognition and Compatibility in Mycorrhizae

  • V. Gianinazzi-Pearson
Part of the Plant Gene Research book series (GENE)


Susceptibility in plants to parasites (for definition see Vanderplank, 1978) is considered to be a relatively rare phenomenon in nature; a striking exception to this rule is found in mycorrhizal associations. Mycorrhizae, a term describing a range of mutualistic associations between soil fungi and plant roots, are no doubt the most frequent examples of compatibility between plants and microbes. The mycorrhizal habit has a long evolutionary history (Nicolson, 1975, Pirozynski and Malloch, 1975, Boullard, 1979) and today more than 90% of all plant taxa, ranging from thallophytes to angiosperms, form associations of one type or another with mycorrhizal fungi. Only a small number of plant species belonging mainly to the Cuperaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Cruciferae, Juncaceae and Proteaceae are nonmycorrhizal and can be considered as incompatible towards mycorrhizal fungi. A characteristic feature of the fungi forming mycorrhizae is that, although they are generally widespread in soils, they exhibit a strong biotrophic dependence on their host plants and are rarely free-living saprophytes.


Mycorrhizal Fungus Ectomycorrhizal Fungus Mycorrhizal Association Mycorrhizal Infection Mycorrhizal Dependency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Gianinazzi-Pearson
    • 1
  1. 1.Station d’Amélioration des PlantesINRADijonFrance

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