Science articles

Mycorrhizas Invisible but essential for the agriculture

Invisible but essential for the agriculture

It is difficult to estimate when the first plants appeared on our planet Earth. We can imagine that approximately 600 million years ago, seaweed decided to colonize what at that time was a dry soil like the lunar surface. Since then, the first ferns emerged, adapted to the environment and began to establish symbiotic relationships with the fungi that lived in their root system. This relationship materialized in the formation of “supra-organisms” where the fungi obtained carbohydrates from the ferns and these, in return, received water resources, dissolved salts and other biostimulants, allowing both to grow in a mutualistic relationship (symbiosis), where the long-term relationship that they maintain benefited both parties. This community of fungi is known as mycorrhizae. Therefore, there is no doubt that mycorrhizae can be considered an agroecological strategy to optimize crop quality.

We can ask ourselves why our crops are increasingly sensitive to pests and diseases or why they have less quality, among other unwanted characteristics. The problem is that the value of the soil resource and the biomass that lives in it is neither perceived nor valued. In the last decades of exploitation of our crops, there was no awareness of the degradation of the soil, of its properties, including the loss of the mycorrhizal community that colonized the roots of the plants that grew in them. The loss of vegetation cover and increased erosion are signs that this “supra-organism” no longer inhabits those soils.

During the last century, agricultural production focused mainly on the use of mineral fertilizers and chemical products which, to maintain crop yields, involved the use of massive doses that have led us today to the state of degradation that we suffer in the soil. Fortunately, research in recent years in agricultural inputs has been aimed at biological components, such as pests and diseases’ Biocontrol products and Plant Biostimulation, which contribute to increasing soil fertility, as well as improving soil stability and functioning of the entire ecosystem.

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