Significance of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Rhizosphere Microflora in Plant Growth and Nutrition

  • Hindumathi Amballa
  • Narasimha Reddy BhumiEmail author


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are common components of soil microorganisms inhabiting the rhizosphere. The rhizosphere is a dynamic microhabitat where microorganisms, plant roots and soil constituents interact with constituting root-soil interface. The rhizosphere of mycorrhizal plants – the ‘mycorrhizosphere’ – harbours a wide range of microbial activities responsible for several ecosystem processes. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi interact with microorganisms colonizing the rhizosphere. The microbial interactions in the mycorrhizosphere are the primary determinants of plant health and soil quality. This chapter summarizes various microbial interactions between mycorrhizal fungi and other soil microbial communities. This chapter discusses (1) microbial communities in the soil, (2) arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal interaction with plants, (3) interaction with rhizosphere microorganisms, (4) interaction with soilborne pathogens, (5) potential benefits of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in plant growth and disease control and (6) effect of soil microorganisms on mycorrhizal symbiosis. The main conclusion is that the microbial population interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the rhizosphere majorly influence plant health, crop productivity and soil fertility. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in corporation with other rhizosphere microbial organisms can contribute to improve plant growth and nutrition.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Mycorrhizosphere Plant health Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria Rhizosphere 

List of Abbreviations




Arbuscular mycorrhiza


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi


Bacteria associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi


Auxiliary cells


Bacteria-like organisms






Carbon source




Chlorazol black E


Colony-forming units




Carbon dioxide




Deoxyribonucleic acid


Extraradical hyphae










Genetically modified


Ribosomal deoxyribonucleic acid


Soil hyphae










Mycorrhizal-helper bacteria


Nitrogen (Elemental Nitrogen)


Nitrogen (Molecular Nitrogen)


Ammonium ion




Nitrate ion








Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria


Hydrogen ion concentration


Pathogenesis-related proteins


Phosphate-solubilizing bacteria




Systemic acquired resistance








Vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi


Wild type




Isotope of nitrogen with atomic mass 15


Isotope of phosphorus with atomic mass 31


Isotope of phosphorus with atomic mass 32



Dr. A. Hindumathi is grateful to DST, New Delhi for providing fellowship under Women Scientist Scheme-A (WOS-A) with grant No. SR/WOS-A/LS-498/2011.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mycology and Plant Pathology Laboratory, Department of BotanyOsmania UniversityHyderabadIndia

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