Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis: A Promising Approach for Imparting Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants

  • Purnima Bhandari
  • Neera GargEmail author


Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi form symbiotic association with a majority of plant species and act as a bridge between soil and plants, improving both plant health and soil fertility. In the recent decade, several studies have highlighted the potential of using such beneficial microbes in bioremediation practices where AM fungi not only improve overall soil structure and fertility but also help in the adaptation of plants in regions facing abiotic constraints including drought stress, salinity stress and heavy metal stress. AM fungi also establish effective symbiosis with legumes which are the key nitrogen fixers in the agricultural land, thereby improving legume-rhizobial symbiosis and nitrogen fixation process even in severely disturbed environments. Based on recent available literature, this chapter summarizes (1) the probable underlying mechanism(s) at biochemical and molecular level adopted by AM fungi in imparting stress resistance in plants against salinity, drought stress and HM stress and (2) major prospects to be taken in the future in the current direction.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi Drought Salinity Heavy metal (HM) toxicity Oxidative stress Antioxidants 



The authors are grateful to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Department of Science and technology (DST-PURSE scheme), Government of India, for providing financial assistance for undertaking the research in the above context.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia

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