Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi
What are mycorrhizae?
Soil biology provides a background of billions of microbes, mostly friendly, to the plant in every ounce of healthy soil. Mycorrhizal fungi make up about 80% or more of the weight and biomass of all the beneficial microbes in the soil.
Arbuscular mycorrhizae, a type of endomycorrhizae, are found in the roots of over 90% of all terrestrial plant species. As mycorrhizal fungi grow, they form long threadlike networks of hyphae that become deeply embedded within root tissue and extend into the soil beyond the reach of the roots themselves.
A tablespoon of soil may contain up to a mile of these hyphal filaments that expand the host plant’s sphere of access to moisture and nutrients by up to 50 times. The moisture and nutrient acquisition of an efficiently colonized system may be up to ten times greater than that of non-inoculated root systems. A well-established root network also helps stave off competing for plant species, and the increased fitness afforded the whole system creates a degree of pest resistance.
In turn, the fungi receive carbohydrates created by the plant through photosynthesis, thus establishing a symbiotic relationship between plant and fungi. Without the carbon energy source from the plant, the mycorrhizal fungi will die.
This naturally-occurring phenomenon has been happening since long before the invention of the microscope, though we are just now gaining an understanding of how it works and its practical applications for agriculture.
What is MYKOS?
MYKOS is RTI's branded arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculant. Averaging 3,000 spores per 50ml sample, MYKOS provides both the quality and quantity that plants require for an effective mycorrhizal colonization. Our chosen Rhizophagus intraradices species is considered to be the most efficient, high-yielding strain of mycorrhizae produced. Our MYKOS are fresh, pure and alive when purchased for your project.
What Benefits Will MYKOS Deliver?
Superior Nutrient Management: MYKOS act as the “quarterback” of the soil microbe team, and direct the activity of many beneficial microbes. They barter for nutrients from these microbes on behalf of the plant. MYKOS transport food in the form of carbohydrates to these microbes, and return the requested nutrients back to the plant, in a form that is immediately available.
Faster Growth: Plants inoculated with MYKOS have the ability to focus their energy on growing. The mycorrhizae have provided them with a larger, more efficient root system, and has taken on the job of obtaining nutrients and water. The plant can now channel its energy to developing roots and top growth.
Increased Drought Resistance / Water Efficiency: The extensive root mass created by MYKOS will reach beyond the natural root system and deliver distant water reserves back to the plant.
Improved soil texture: The hyphae, produced by MYKOS, excrete “glomalin,” a sticky substance that molds together the individual particles of sand, silt and clay, along with plant debris and other organic matter, to form soil aggregates. The space between these particles is oxygen-rich and important for healthy microbial activity.
Decreased Fertilizer needs: The extensive root systems created by MYKOS allow access to distant stockpiles of soil nutrients, maximizing their availability to the plant. As a result, these landscapes will require less fertilizer application.