Can we culture VA mycorrhizal fungi asymbiotically?

Masanori Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Vesicular-arbuscular (VA) mycorrhizal fungi belonging to order Glomales, Zygomycetes, are obligately associated with plant roots. To culture the fungi, we have to establish the symbiosis by growing host plants inoculated with the fungi. Many trials have been done to culture the fungi asymbiotically, but none have succeeded to date. The fungi can grow asymbiotically from spores or intraradical hyphae for some periods, but do not complete their life cycle; spore are not reproduced under asymbiotic conditions. Possible reasons for the failure in asymbiotic proliferation were discussed. We are not able to exclude the possibility that we have not yet obtained all the compounds essential to the asymbiotic growth, but this possibility is low. During the symbiotic growth phase of the fungi, functional differentiation may occur in the intraradical and extraradical hyphae. This may be one of the keys to solving the problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalMicrobes and environments
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • VA mycorrhizal fungi
  • arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • culture
  • glomales
  • symbiosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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