Development of research methods to characterise arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities and potential effects of fungal endophyte biodiversity on vegetation


  • Irena MAČEK University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Agronomy Department, Slovenia



arbuscular mycorrhiza, biodiversity, ecology, endophytes, rhizosphere, sequencing, soil


Characterization and quantification of the functional and taxonomic diversity of microbial communities is essential for understanding all aspects of microbial ecology and is closely related to ecosystem function. Arbuscular mycorrhiza is the most widespread symbiosis on Earth, with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi present in more than 2/3 of all plant species. Just over a decade after the publication of the first review article on molecular approaches to study the ecology of AM fungi in Acta Agriculturae Slovenica (Maček, 2009), the rapid development of molecular tools, especially next generation sequencing (NGS) technology, has accelerated the study of the research field of plant root endophytes. In this paper, the current approach to study the ecology and taxonomy of AM fungi is presented, which also provides some insights into the study of other plant root endophytes. In addition, a widely used system for classifying AM fungi with so-called virtual taxa (VT) is presented, which is used for ecological studies and comparison between different studies. Finally, a brief overview of the importance of climate and soil properties for AM fungal community composition and taxa distribution in global ecosystems is presented.

Author Biography

  • Irena MAČEK, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Agronomy Department, Slovenia
    Oddelek za agronomijo


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20. 10. 2022



Review Article

How to Cite

MAČEK, I. (2022). Development of research methods to characterise arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities and potential effects of fungal endophyte biodiversity on vegetation. Acta Agriculturae Slovenica, 118(3), 1–13.

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