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agriculture Editorial Arbuscular Mycorrhiza and Its Inﬂuence on Crop Production 1 , 2 Marieta Hristozkova * and Michail Orfanoudakis Department of Plant Physiology, Faculty of Biology, Soﬁa University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 8 Dragan Tsankov Blvd., 1164 Soﬁa, Bulgaria Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources, Democritus University of Thrace, 68200 Orestiada, Greece; firstname.lastname@example.org * Correspondence: email@example.com Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have become attractive as bio stimulants in agriculture due to plant nutrient uptake enchantment and stress tolerance. Plants frequently interact with microbes under natural conditions, which directly mediate plant responses to environmental adversities. As a crucial element of soils, microbes are an integral part of the agricultural ecosystem. AMF are ubiquitous widespread soil microorganisms that can form symbiotic associations with most of agricultural plants. These beneﬁcial microbes can offer an array of advantages to host plants. The focus of this Special Issue is to consider different points of view relating to the use of AMF as an environmentally friendly tool both in greenhouse and ﬁeld crop production. This perspective is emphasized by the published studies on the application of mycorrhizal fungi to enhance crop performance and production as well as on the role of these soil microorganisms in crop stress tolerance and sustainability improvement. The application of mycorrhizal fungi for the vegetable production is recommended because it can have a positive effect on the yield and quality although lower dose of mineral fertilizers was applied . Franczuk et al.  hypothesize that AMF inoculation of the sweet pepper root system will make it possible to reduce the amount of mineral fertilizers without a signiﬁcant reduction in fruit yield and quality. The purpose of the research was to determine the effect of AMF inoculation time and mineral fertilizer doses (100%, 50%, and 25% of the basic dose) on selected plant growth parameters, fruit biometric features, and yield and on the accumulation of selected nutrients and minerals in the fruits. The authors Citation: Hristozkova, M.; have found that AMF inoculation of the root zone resulted in high sweet pepper yields of Orfanoudakis, M. Arbuscular good quality. In particular, mycorrhizal fungi applied to the root system during seedling Mycorrhiza and Its Inﬂuence on Crop production positively affected the pepper yield and biometric characteristics, with fruits of Production. Agriculture 2023, 13, 925. the thickest pericarp and the largest mass. Despite the reduction in top dressing dose by 50% https://doi.org/10.3390/ and 75%, AMF contributed to the accumulation of similar amounts of phosphorus (P) in agriculture13050925 the sweet pepper fruits. The top-dressing dose of 50% applied during seedling production Received: 19 April 2023 to the experimental units with mycorrhizal fungi resulted in a signiﬁcant increase in the Revised: 21 April 2023 content of potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg). A signiﬁcant increase in the Accepted: 21 April 2023 amount of sodium (Na) in the fruits was noted in the experimental units with mycorrhizal Published: 23 April 2023 fungi applied to the roots when the seedlings were transferred to pots. The uses of biofertilizers can alleviate the harmful effects of salinity and increase the absorption and availability of P while increasing productivity and yield . Thus, the investigation of Masrahi et al.  was conducted to evaluate the useful inﬂuences of the Copyright: © 2023 by the authors. combinations between phosphorus P fertilizer rates and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. (AMF) as well as phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) to improve P management under This article is an open access article salinity stress related to yield and its components as well as N, P, and K uptake in barley. distributed under the terms and The ﬁndings revealed that the combination AMF + 100% RDP improved plant height, conditions of the Creative Commons length of spike, spikes weight, number of spikes plant , weight of 1000-grain, straw yield, Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ grain yield, uptake of N, P, K in grain, and uptake of N, phosphorus P, K in straw. AMF 4.0/). showed greater efﬁciency and effectiveness compared to PSB in improving yield and its Agriculture 2023, 13, 925. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13050925 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/agriculture Agriculture 2023, 13, 925 2 of 3 components for all studied traits. The authors recommended inoculating the soil with AMF or PSB with the addition of phosphate fertilizer at the recommended dose under salinity conditions. Another point of view of mycorrhizal fungi application is underlined by the research paper of Geneva et. al., which described the response to drought stress of golden berry plants inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Claroideoglomus claroideum and propa- gated in vitro as well as from seeds . The implementation of mycorrhizal symbiosis was determined by root colonization, glomalin content, and alkaline and acid phosphatases in roots and soil. The plant protection was assured by enzyme and non-enzyme an- tioxidants. The adapted in vitro-propagated plants demonstrated higher resistance to drought than plants developed from seeds, indicated by increased growth parameters (shoot, root biomass, fruit number), plastid pigment content, antioxidant activity, and less enhancement of oxidative markers levels in water-deﬁcient conditions. The ﬁndings in the present research are relevant to obtain the optimal mycorrhizal association and type of propagation in an adverse environment for golden berry development and will lead to the establishment of a database and model of varied plant responses to stressful conditions such as drought. The effect of mycorrhizal fungi, preceding crops, mineral and biofertilizers on maize intercropping with cowpea was studied by ﬁeld experiment, thus demonstrating that berseem gave the best results as a preceding crop and gave the highest values of maize and cowpea, followed by sugar beet as a preceding crop, while wheat recorded the lowest values. Fertilizer treatments had signiﬁcant effect on all maize and cowpea traits. The treatment 75% NPK + arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMFs) (T2) gave the highest val- ues . Meanwhile, no signiﬁcant differences were found between fertilizer treatments T1 (100% NPK mineral) and T2 (75% NPK + arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMFs)) combi- nation on all studied characters of maize. The interaction had a signiﬁcant effect on most studied characters of maize and cowpea in the two growing seasons. The cultivation of the two components of intercropping after berseem with T2 fertilizer recorded the highest values. Mixing the third cut of cowpea with maize straw signiﬁcantly increased the quality and digestibility of forge in both seasons . Phosphorus is the second most signiﬁcant macro-nutrient in rice productivity. P im- mobilization in some soil makes it unavailable for crops to absorb . This fact deﬁnes the goal of the research by Elekhtyar et al. . The authors examined the effects of microbial and chemical sources of phosphorus fertilizers on the Egyptian Sakha 106 rice cultivar by applying different sources of phosphorus, the goal being to increase the bioavailability of soil P for plants and allow it to be mobilized biologically to change it from an insoluble form to a soluble and available form for rice to absorb. The application of combinations of biofertilizers, i.e., arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMFs), phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (PSBs), and single super phosphate (SSP), beneﬁcially improved P bioavailability in soil. When compared with the applied biological or chemical P fertilizer alone, the combination of two biofertilizers (AMFs and PSBs) and one of the chemical P fertilizers, i.e., single super phosphate (SSP), orthophosphoric acid, or hydroxyapatite, showed the highest crop productivity and improved all examined characteristics. The ﬁndings of this study showed that the combination of the foliar spraying of phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (PSBs), top- dressing with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMFs), the foliar spraying of phosphorus nanoparticles (PNPs), the foliar spraying of phosphoric acid (PA), and the basal application of 75% single super phosphate (SSP) improved the grain yield of the Sakha 106 Egyptian rice cultivar, helping plants and soil by solubilizing ﬁxed P in Egyptian paddy soil and reducing chemical P fertilizers by 25%, thus lowering the use of chemical P fertilizers, reducing P leaching, and minimizing pollution. Many terrestrial plants form reciprocal symbioses with beneﬁcial fungi in roots; how- ever, it is not clear whether Vicia villosa, an important forage and green manure crop, can co- exist with these fungi and how such symbiosis affects plant growth and soil properties. That is why the aim of the He et al.  research paper is to analyze the effects of inoculation with Agriculture 2023, 13, 925 3 of 3 three arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), i.e., Diversisporas purca, Funneliformis mosseae, and Rhizophagus intraradices, and an endophytic fungus Serendipita indica on plant growth, root morphology, chlorophyll and sugar levels, soil nutrients, and aggregate size distri- bution and stability in V. villosa plants. The beneﬁcial fungi colonized the roots with colonization rates of 12% to 92%, and they also improved plant growth performance and root morphology to varying degrees, accompanied by the most signiﬁcant promoted effects after R. intraradices inoculation. All AMF signiﬁcantly raised chlorophyll a and b levels, carotenoid, and total chlorophyll concentrations, along with a signiﬁcant increase in leaf sucrose, which consequently formed a signiﬁcantly higher accumulation of glucose and fructose in roots providing carbon sources for the symbionts. Root fungal colonization was signiﬁcantly positively correlated with chlorophyll levels, leaf sucrose, and root glucose. In addition, inoculation with symbiotic fungi appeared to trigger a signiﬁcant decrease in soil Olsen-P and available K and a signiﬁcant increase in NH -N, NO -N, and glomalin-related 4 3 soil protein levels, plus a signiﬁcant increase in the proportion of water-stable aggregates at the size of 0.5–4 mm as well as aggregate stability. This improvement in soil aggregates was signiﬁcantly (p< 0.01) positively correlated with root fungal colonization rate and glomalin-related soil protein concentrations. In conclusion, the Special Issue “Arbuscular Mycorrhiza and Its Inﬂuence on Crop Production” is a small step ahead toward putting together the puzzle of plant–microbe interactions. The studies in this SI reveal that AMF can improve crops’ nutrient status and enhance their quality and yield in the face of challenges to produce enough healthy food to supply the global population, under the current conditions of climate change and biodiversity degradation. Author Contributions: Conceptualization, M.H. and M.O.; investigation, M.H. and M.O.; writing—review and editing, M.H. and M.O.; visualization, M.H. and M.O. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. Acknowledgments: We would like to sincerely thank all authors who submitted papers to the Special Issue of Agriculture entitled “Arbuscular Mycorrhiza and Its Inﬂuence on Crop Production”, as well as the reviewers of these papers for their constructive comments and thoughtful suggestions, and the editorial staff of Agriculture. Conﬂicts of Interest: The authors declare no conﬂict of interest. References 1. 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Effect of Mycorrhiza Fungi, Preceding Crops, Mineral and Bio Fertilizers on Maize In- tercropping with Cowpea. Agriculture 2022, 12, 1934. [CrossRef] 5. Elekhtyar, N.M.; Awad-Allah, M.M.A.; Alshallash, K.S.; Alatawi, A.; Alshegaihi, R.M.; Alsalmi, R.A. Impact of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi, Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria and Selected Chemical Phosphorus Fertilizers on Growth and Productivity of Rice. Agriculture 2022, 12, 1596. [CrossRef] 6. He, W.-X.; Wu, Q.-S.; Hashem, A.; Abd_Allah, E.F.; Muthuramalingam, P.; Al-Arjani, A.-B.F.; Zou, Y.-N. Effects of Symbiotic Fungi on Sugars and Soil Fertility and Structure-Mediated Changes in Plant Growth of Vicia villosa. Agriculture 2022, 12, 1523. [CrossRef] Disclaimer/Publisher’s Note: The statements, opinions and data contained in all publications are solely those of the individual author(s) and contributor(s) and not of MDPI and/or the editor(s). MDPI and/or the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to people or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content.
Agriculture – Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Published: Apr 23, 2023
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