What Are Mycorrhizae?

Great White Mycorrhizae
 
More than 90 percent of plant species form a symbiotic arrangement with beneficial soil fungi - called mycorrhizal fungi or "Mykos". Plant's roots are colonized by the fungus, which attaches to the roots and have threads or 'hyphae' that extend far into the surrounding soil environment (picture on right). Mycorrhizal fungi are the dominant microbes in undisturbed soils accounting for 60 percent to 80 percent of the microbial biomass. They are fundamental for superior plant performance, supplying the water and nutrients needed for superior growth, flowering and fruiting. In exchange, the Mykos receive essential sugars and other compounds supplied by the plant.

What do Mycorrhizae do for Plants?

Mykos increase the surface absorbing area of roots 10 to 1,000 times, thereby greatly improving the ability of the plants to absorb nutrients and water. Estimates
 
of amounts of mycorrhizal filaments present in soil associated with plants are astonishing. Several miles of fungal filaments can be present in less than a thimbleful of soil. Mykos increase nutrient uptake not only by increasing the surface absorbing area of roots, but by also releasing powerful chemicals into the surrounding environment that capture nitrogen, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and other plant nutrients. This extraction process is particularly important in plant nutrition,
 
flowering and fruiting. It also explains why mycorrhizal inoculations have been so successful in hydroponic operations.
 
Mykos also assist plants with the suppression of diseases and pathogens by attacking the pathogen or disease organisms entering the root zone. A practical benefit coming from them is improved rooting speed.
 

Mycorrhizae comparison

Marigold flowering with mycorrhizae inoculation (right) and without (left)

Where's the proof?

The plant-mycorrhizal fungi relationship is the best understood in the field of soil biology. There are more than 60,000 studies in literature on the subject, but there's even more important proof. The mycorrhizal relationship with plants is one of nature's longest and most successful experiments. The earliest fossil record of the roots of land plants contain Mykos almost identical to what is found today. Most scientists believe the plant-mycorrhiza relationship allowed aquatic plants to make the transition to the relatively harsh terrestrial environment some 460 million years ago. In nature, mycorrhizae make plant growth possible, linking the roots of plants to the surrounding soil. In nature, neither can survive or grow without the other. Now hydroponic and aquaponic growers can benefit from this essential relationship.

How are Mykos Supplied?

Mykos come in dry powder form. Aqua Gardening stocks Great White which is the most complete mycorrhizal product on the market. The cutting edge formula contains 15 different species of mycorrhizal fungi, 19 different species of beneficial bacteria, 2 species of trichoderma, plant vitamins and glycine all in one product. In practice, this powerful formula ignites plant and root growth giving plants the tools they need to maximise yields. Why "Great White"? Because adding Great White will make roots become perfectly white! Great White is an extremely versatile product which can be mixed in with any substrate or simply sprinkled, diluted or drip fed. Give your plants a head start!