Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: Their ecological role, function and diversity in agricultural and non agricultural ecosystems

Plant symbiosis with AM fungi is very extensive in nature, most higher plants being mycorrhizal, and it is known to improve plant growth and nutrition, particularly regarding phosphorus but also to ameliorate drought stress and provide protection from pathogens.  The introduction of molecular tools drastically altered our view of diversity and taxonomy of AM fungi. Our group has focused on the isolation, identification and evaluation of novel mycorrhizal isolates obtained from marginal ecosystems and fields/glasshouses under organic cultivation as well as the development of new inocula, derived from these indigenous species.  Our hypothesis is that indigenous AM fungi which dominate in ecosystems exposed to salinity and/or drought stress are likely to be good candidates for promoting plant growth in agricultural soils in the Med region where crops are cultivated at poor and marginal soils. Several inocula have been isolated from such ecosystems and some of them were particularly effective in promoting crop yields. We are also interested in studying the role of AM fungi in tripartite interactions involving plants– AMF –  fungal endophytes.

am-fungi

Funding

  1. Marie Curie Reintegration Grand "ECOMYCORRHIZA - The effects of agronomic practices conducive to organic agriculture on the diversity and function of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi", Benefited Fellow: Dr I. Ipsilantis, Funding: EC-FP7 Proposal 204792, Duration 1/10/2007 – 30/9/2010
  2. Innovative Research Vouchers for SMEs, Evaluation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi as a biotechnological tool for the optimization of P uptake by plants. Funding: General Secretariat of Research and Technology, Duration 18/4/2011 – 18/8/2011
  3. THALIS project, Contribution of Mycorrhizae to the sustainability of marginal Mediterranean ecosystems – development of mycorrhizal inocula. Funding: General Secretariat of Research and Technology/Ministry of Education, Duration: 1/2/2012 – 31/6/2015.
  4. Support of New SMEs for Research and Technology Activities, Isolation of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and development of mycorrhizal inocula used for rhizosphere inoculations and the production of soil improvers. Funding: General Secretariat of Research and Technology, Greece, Duration: 1/1/2013-31/12/2015
  5. - RESEARCH-CREATE-INNOVATE call, Title: Mixed microbial inocula for vegetable production in the Western Peloponnese – application to soil, propagating material, hydroponics, enhanced growth substrates. Total Funding 350,000  €. Duration: 2018-2020

 

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Publications

  1. Ipsilantis , Karpouzas D.G., Ehaliotis C., Papadopoulou K.K., (2009) Effects of soil application of olive mill wastewaters on the structure and function of the community of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 41 (12): 2466-2476
  2. Ipsilantis I., Samourelis C., Karpouzas D.G., (2012) The impact of biological pesticides on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 45: 147-155

Personnel

- Vasiliki Skiada, PhD student