The Holganix Blog

What You Don't Know About Endo & Ecto Mycorrhizae

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One of our favorite ingredients within the Holganix jug is mycorrhizae fungi. There are 20 different types of mycorrhizae in a single jug of Holganix!

Mycorrhizae are responsible for increasing the uptake of nutrients, minerals and moisture by the plant.

 

What are Mycorrhizae?

According to Irrigation and Green Industry Magazine,, “The word mycorrhizae comes from two Greek words: mycos, meaning ‘fungus,’ and rhiza, meaning ‘roots.’” In short, it’s a fungi that works in conjunction with plant roots.

There are two categories of mycorrhizae: endo mycorrhizae and ecto mycorrhizae. “Endo mycorrhizae literally attaches itself to the roots, penetrates cell walls, and becomes one with the roots,” said Robert Neidermyer, PhD, Director of Soil and Plant Science at Holganix in an Irrigation and Green Industry Magazine interview. Endo Mycorrhizae form symbiotic relationships with 80 to 90 percent of all plants, including turf.

On the other hand, “The ectomycorrhizae just kind of lay up next to the roots, coming into very close proximity but don’t attach themselves.” Ectomycoorhizae form relationships with 5 percent of plants, including many types of tree species.

The plant and mycorrhizae form a mutualistic relationship whereby the plant produces sugars through photosynthesis and exudes them out of the roots for mycorrhizae and other beneficial microorganisms to consume.

In turn, mycorrhizae bring water and nutrients to the roots from distances the root cannot reach. 

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Mycorrhizae colonization on strawberry plants

 

Mycorrhizae Increase Fertilizer, Mineral and Moisture Uptake

Mycorrhizae are “fertilizer helpers,” says Irrigation and Green Industry Magazine. “As the [mycorrhizae] filaments grow and stretch out, they behave like military reconnaissance squads, conducting sweep searches for water and nutrients over a large underground area.”

For plants, the big benefit is the “enhanced supply of available nutrients, including carbon, potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. They also get a faster uptake of minerals, such as calcium, copper, iron and zinc, and in greater amounts than would normally have been available to their roots.” As a result, mycorrhizae allows for an increased tolerance to adverse soil conditions (think low amounts of NPK and poor pH).

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Root comparison: With Holganix (Left), without (Right)

 

Learn more about how Holganix and mycorrhizae affect root growth in our ebook: Turf Roots: Technical Turf Report

Turf roots 

Tags: lawn care, sports turf, golf course, agriculture