Alliance of Hyphae Bacteria, AM Fungi, and Plants Could Be the Key to Enriching Soil with Nutrients

May 5, 2021. By Kolemann Lutz


Enabling the formation, colonisation, of soil fungus and hyphae bacteria subsurface microbiomes could be key to priming the hyphosphere and soil fertility, supporting enzyme and nutrient exchange, enabling plants with stress resistance and tolerance, and sustaining photosynthesis in Martian and Lunar soil.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF or AM) evolved a symbiotic relationship with plants over 400 to 480 million years ago and are found in the Hyphosphere with around 72% of all land plants and with most crop plants on Earth. A soil borne fungi, AM fungi penetrate the cortical cells of the plant roots to enhance photosynthesis and significantly improve plant nutrient uptake, stress resistance and tolerance, soil structure and fertility.


AMF helps absorb nitrogen and phosphate from organic matter in soil to transfer the N and P to the plants. AM Fungi lack enzymes to free nitrogen and phosphorus from complex organic molecules as well as enzyme genes to encode phytases and phosphatases, lignin, and complex carbohydrates.


Therefore, AMF can proliferate hyphae, which are branching filaments that make up the ends of the mycelium as part of the fungi and bacteria. By accessing carbon from the plant root, hyphae bacteria (linear feeding lanes) are typically extended deeper into the soil from fungal root tips.


Researchers from Cornell University conducted an experiment, funded by a grant from the US Department of Energy, to determine the bacterial community closely associated with the extraradical mycelium (ERM) or hyphae (ERH) of the fungal network and whether these bacterial communities differed among artificial soils systems.


In three mesocosm experiments, we detail the bacterial community closely associated with AMF extraradical hyphae bacteria and ask whether this community varies across soils, changes with time, or is influenced by either fungal species or nutrient status of the soil.


Results indicate that soil sample type accounted for roughly 40% of the ERH hyphae variation among samples from three soils. Hyphae bacteria were dominated by proteobacteria with 50% relative abundance. Hyphal samples showed repeated enri