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Research article2004Peer reviewedOpen access

Microbial interactions in the mycorrhizosphere and their significance for sustainable agriculture

Johansson JF, Paul LR, Finlay RD


In sustainable, low-input cropping systems the natural roles of microorganisms in maintaining soil fertility and biocontrol of plant pathogens may be more important than in conventional agriculture where their significance has been marginalised by high inputs of agrochemicals. Better understanding of the interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and other microorganisms is necessary for the development of sustainable management of soil fertility and crop production. Many studies of the influence of mycorrhizal colonisation on associated bacterial communities have been conducted, however, the mechanisms of interaction are still poorly understood. Novel approaches including PCR-based methods, stable isotope profiling, and molecular markers have begun to shed light on the activity. identity and spatiotemporal location of bacteria in the mycorrhizosphere. This paper reviews current knowledge concerning the interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and other microorganisms, particularly bacteria, and discusses the implications these interactions may have in sustainable agriculture. (C) 2004 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved


Arbuscular mycorrhiza; Bacteria; Biocontrol; Mycorrhizasphere; Soil fertility; Sustainable agriculture

Published in

FEMS Microbiology Ecology
2004, Volume: 48, number: 1, pages: 1-13