By Dr. Thomas T. Yamashita
In nature, many plants establish mutual relationships with fungi called “mycorrhizae,” which colonize their roots systems. This relationship between plant and mycorrhizae is considered by scientists to be one the most important factors terrestrial plant evolution over the last billion or so years.
This mutualistic association between mycorrhizae and plants is known as a “symbiotic” or “mutually cooperative relationship.”
In this association, the plant receives water and nutrients from the fungus, and the fungus receives sugars produced via the plant’s photosynthesis, which feeds the fungus and fuels its propagation. From an agricultural and horticultural point of view, the potential benefits of mycorrhizal symbiosis include:
- Increased water and nutrient uptake
- Increased drought resistance
- Increased plant health and pathogen resistance
- Increase soil aggregation and improved water holding capacity
- Increased microbial activity
There are two major types of mycorrhizal fungi: ectomycorrhizae and endomycorrhizae. Ectomycorrhizae colonize outside the root and are mainly found in forest ecosystems.
Endomycorrhizae are most prevalent in agricultural soils, colonizing inside the roots of plants and forming structures known as vesicles or arbuscules. These structures serve as sites of nutrient and sugar exchange between plants and fungi. Arbuscular fungi (sometimes referred to as “AM fungi” or “AMF,”) are attracting an increasing amount of interest for their utility as natural fertilizers. This is because arbuscular fungi have been shown to improve uptake of several nutrients from the soil, particularly phosphorous.
A recent publication by Paul Schreiner, a plant physiologist at USDA Corvallis, proved the importance of photosynthesis on the frequency of arbuscule formation in roots colonized by arbuscular fungi. In his experiment, he used shading and foliar phosphorus supply to demonstrate that the most important factor in regulating root colonization is not increased levels of shoot phosphorus, but rather high levels of plant carbon generated via photosynthesis. In other words, in order to increase the frequency of arbuscules, it is important to increase the efficiency of photosynthesis.
Doc Tom and the Fusion 360 team have produced a formulation that radically increases the efficiency of photosynthesis, even during periods of heat and cold stress.
Foliar FG-31 has been formulated to include preformed photosynthates and minerals that deliver the extra energy needed to increase photosynthetic capacity. Through application of Foliar FG-31, growers can increase the beneficial effects of mycorrhizal fungi, creating plants with superior metabolism and photosynthetic efficiency, boosting their ability to overcome disease infections and other stress factors.
If you would like to try Foliar FG-31 for yourself, reach out to our sales staff for more information.