Arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) are one of the most widespread and studied plant associations with beneficial microorganisms. Indeed, more than 80% of land plants, including most agricultural and horticultural crop species, are able to establish this mutualistic symbiosis with AM fungi. Through this association the fungus helps the plant in the acquisition of water and mineral nutrients, especially under stress conditions. AM symbiosis affects other ecologically and economically important traits such as plant architecture, flowering, and fruit quality but also tolerance against biotic and abiotic stresses. As a consequence, AM fungi have a great potential as biofertilizers and bioprotection agents in sustainable agriculture. However, in order to take advantage of all these benefits, a good and functional symbiosis is required. Here we present methods for reliable quantification of colonization levels which should be useful not only for research but also from the agronomic point of view.
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This work was supported by grants AGL2015-64990-C2-1-R and BIO2017-90877-REDT from the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) and 201640I040 from CSIC.
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