Mycorrhizal fungi interactions with nutrients, pests and pathogens in sugarcane: a review

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Claassens, A, Nock, CJ, van Zwieten, L & Rose, TJ 2017, 'Mycorrhizal fungi interactions with nutrients, pests and pathogens in sugarcane: a review', Proceedings of the 39th Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, Cairns, Qld., 3-5 May.


THE SYMBIOTIC ASSOCIATIONS between arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and many crop plants are well documented although literature on AM fungi in sugarcane remains sparse. Enhancement of phosphorus uptake in sugarcane via AM fungi has been demonstrated over a range of growing conditions and indications that AM fungi have the capacity to improve nitrogen use efficiency in sugarcane highlights an important frontier of research. Exploiting AM fungi to reduce disease pressure in crops represents another critical area of inquiry with implications for sugarcane where productive capacity has been affected by soil and root pathogens. The characteristics of AM fungi in sugarcane can now be explored with new tools and approaches, overcoming a reliance on generalisations from findings in other crop species. Here we review the literature on the role of AM fungi in nutrient cycling and disease suppression in sugarcane with a view to developing a more comprehensive understanding of AM fungi in Australian sugarcane cropping systems.

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