Exploring the Role of Mycorrhizae as Soil Ecosystem Engineer

  • Antra Chatterjee
  • Shbbir R. Khan
  • Huma Vaseem


Growing population poses pressure on physical resources such as land, water and air. Today, a major challenge before ecologists and agriculturists is to provide food security to a growing population despite fast degrading landmass and deteriorating soil health. In this regard, the omnipresent mycorrhiza, abundantly available in most terrestrial ecosystems, and its symbiotic association with plants are worth exploring. “Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi” is a nutrient-enriching, growth-stimulant, phytoremediation bio-factor which provides protection to plants from diseases and resistance against draught, salinity stress and heavy metal toxicity. Presently, the role of mycorrhiza in soil aggregation is not duly acknowledged, and the restorative mechanisms of glomalin are not fully explained. Moreover, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi needs more focussed research as its colonisation has shown varied responses to nearby organisms. Its synergistic and antagonistic effects entirely depend upon its varying type/identity. Indiscriminate application of chemical insecticides/pesticides/weedicides in the field is disrupting natural symbiotic relations between plant and soil. Mycorrhiza are natural alternative that can be gainfully utilised for improving soil fertility and restoration and reclamation of degraded land. Awareness about its utility among policy makers and agriculturists is a step towards sustainable agriculture, reforestation, and climate change resilient farming and enhanced food security.



Huma Vaseem is thankful to UGC for Start-Up grant, Antra Chatterjee is thankful to CSIR-UGC for senior research fellow and Shbbir R. Khan is thankful to MANF-UGC.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antra Chatterjee
    • 1
  • Shbbir R. Khan
    • 2
  • Huma Vaseem
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Botany, Institute of ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Zoology, Institute of ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Zoology, Faculty of Life ScienceAligarh Muslim UniversityAligarhIndia

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