Soil fungi

Thomas ODell odellt at
Mon May 5 11:40:43 EST 1997

The discussion below is pertinant to VA mycorrhizal fungi, but the other 
sorts are _not_ distinguishable in soil based on hyphal morphology, nor 
are their spores easily extracted... ectomycorrhizal fungi are studied by 
direct observation of roots an dby observing sporocarps, ericoid and 
orchid mycorrhizae by claering and staining roots...
One approach that covers all types is a bioassay (assuming that you can 
grow the host plants.).
See the recent book on Methods for mycorrhizal Research by Brundrett et al.
Thom O'Dell 
Email:  odellt at

On Sun, 4 May 1997, K N and P J Harris wrote:
> > 
> > K N and P J Harris wrote:
> > > > From: David Hagerberg <mik_daha at>
,deleted.> > > >
> > 
> > Now how do you study mycorrhizae directly in the soil?
> > 
> > Best Regards!
> The simple answer to that is "with great difficulty". The hyphae are 
> fairly fragile although they do tend to be characteristic and easier to 
> spot than most hyphae. It is possible (though not very precise) to carry 
> out total fungal length estimates in soils with and without a 
> mycorrhizal plant. It suggests that quite a lot of hyphae seen in 
> planted soils (the only soils really worth investigating as a soil 
> without a plant in it is analogous to a car without fuel) are 
> mycorrhizal.
> The easy thing to do is to extract spores and categorise them into 
> morphotypes if not down to species level.
> Peter Haris

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