Mycorrhiza

Definition - What does Mycorrhiza mean?

Mycorrhiza is a a beneficial type of fungi that grows in association with most plant roots. Unlike most types of fungus, mycorrhiza has actually been shown to be beneficial to plants. Consequently, they are commonly used as quality and growth enhancers when it comes to horticultural and agricultural crops.

Mycorrhizae increase the root's ability to absorb nutrients and water from the soil by increasing the surface absorbing area of roots from 100 to 1,000 times. Mycorrhizae also release powerful enzymes that help dissolve nutrients such as organic nitrogen, phosphorous, and iron.

Mycorrhiza may also be known as fungus root. The plural form is Mycorrhizae.

MaximumYield explains Mycorrhiza

Mycorrhizae establish a symbiotic relationship with the roots of most plants. After getting into the roots, they connect them to one another by sending out their filaments (also known as hypha), and increase the depth of absorption. In return the plants provide glucose to the mycorrhizae.

A mycorrhiza grows after the germination of a fungal spore. From this spore emerge threadlike organisms that gradually penetrate the root epidermis. This creates a more absorptive soil, resulting in a higher assimilation of water and minerals, especially copper, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus.

There are more than 150 types of mycorrhizal fungi worldwide. Some soils already contain mycorrhiza, but in certain cases, such as new gardens, landscapes, or tilled fields, horticulturalists may choose to add a pre-mixed mycorrhiza product. Adding compost to the soil will increase the amount of organic matter in it and therefore encourage the establishment and growth of mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizal inoculants can be added to the soil to encourage the growth of fungi but it is important to note that there are various plant-specific strains of this fungi and therefore buying a specific type is the key. It might not be necessary to add these inoculants unless the soil microbe population has been damaged.

Mycorrhizal plants have been known to be more resistant to different types of plant diseases, especially soil-borne illnesses.

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