Mycorrhiza is a symbiotic, non-pathogenic, permanent association between the roots of land plants and a group of fungi called mycorrhiza fungi. They provide extended arms to the plant root system, helping it to exploit the soil nutrients that are beyond its reach. Mycorrhiza also helps in wasteland reclamation. Mycorrhiza technology could contribute to sustainable agriculture, as it can replace chemical fertilisers.
Commercial mycorrhizal products are available in different forms including tablets, granules, powder and liquid. Many industries involved in mycorrhiza production still use the conventional pot culture method, which poses various problems such as high costs, transportation, limited quantities produced, risk of contamination of inoculum etc. In-vitro, or lab-based, mycorrhiza production technology enables the mass production of viable, healthy, genetically pure and high-quality fungal propagules without any pathogenic contamination in a sterile environment.
Etali Sarmah Bordoloi
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
New Delhi, India