Friday, July 25, 2014


I attended a class put on by Santia Morganics about Mycorrhizae.  I learned about how mycorrhizae is colonized.  These are my notes.

There are 3 major types of mycorrhizae.
(1) Endo or Arbuscular mycorrhizae (which exist on 85% of the plant families),
(2) Ecto mycorrhizae (which exist on 10% of the plant families (mostly woody plants), and
(3) Ericoid mycorrhizae (which exist on less than 5% of the plant families).
There are several other more obscure forms of mycorrhizae, but they are highly specific and not used from a commercial perspective.

Some producers grow all of their
types together whereas Santia Morganics grows each isolated from the other and combines them in exact proportions when packaging the final product.  This assures that their product contains a controlled proportion of each type.  Growing several types together will allow a few to dominate the mix.  Each type has different preferences such as pH, and therefore it's impossible to level the playing field for each when grown together and some types may fail to grow.

The reason so many
types are sold together is to provide one that will find your soil adaptable.  So it's important to have a a good assortment of different types.

Santia Morganics also grows their mycorrhizae  in vivo where as some other manufactures grow in vitro.  In vivo means that it's grown in live plants and soil.  In Vitro is grown in a sterile media.  By growing in vivo the mycorrhizae become more adapted to interacting with actual live plants and other microorganisms.  The in vitro grown mycorrhizae fail to replicate the precise cellular conditions of an organism, particularly a microbe.

Santia Morganics sells mycorrhizae for soil and another for hydroponics. 

The later is finer and water soluable, but the process of reducing the size destroys some of the mycorrhizae so it will contain a little less. 
These two mycorrhizae products already contain sufficient amounts of nutrients to help the mycorrhizae become established quickly, but they also make a couple additives that will and promote the growth of mycorrhizae.  One is made for soil and the other is made to dissolve into water so that it can soak down into the root zone or be used for hydroponics.  These additives contain no mycorrhizae. 


 The Myco-Fusion line consists of all three types of mycorrhizae, as well as Rhizo-Charge and Bio-Jolt companion products, both which are designed to maximize yield.

The relationship between plant and fungi evolved to help the plants access low levels of phosphorus in the soil but after adding mycorrhizae phosphorous should be avoided for as long as possible because mycorrhizae do not grow and colonize roots when the phosphorus level is high.  Therefore it is best to let the relationship become established before adding phosphorous.

Mycorrhizea can survive for many years as long as it is not subjected to heat over about 120 F.  It will lay dormant until the conditions are right and a host root becomes available.  It is okay to store your mycorrhizae in a warm greenhouse so long as it is kept dry and below 120 F.

Endomycilium is the type we vegetable gardeners want unless we are growing hardwood plants such as blueberry in which case we would want
EctomyciliumEndomycilium grows inside of the vegetable roots and sends Hyphae out to feed the plant with water and nutrients.  One cubic centimeter of rich organic soil may contain 1 km of fungal hyphae. 

The mycorrhizal fungi become the interface between the soil and plant roots: the fungi colonize the roots internally, and the soil externally. Internally, the fungus becomes the interface where nutrient exchanges occur between the fungus and plant by direct contact of the fungus with the root cells: carbon energy moves from the plant to the fungus, and soil nutrients moves from the fungus to the host plant.

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