Fungi helps plants grow in low water - Fusion - WeRIndia

Fungi helps plants grow in low water

Fungi helps plants grow in low-water

Water is one of the major restraints for plants to grow properly. Especially in a country like India where huge population depends on water; water problems are quite common.

In this context, Tamil Nadu researchers developed fungi to help plants grow with little water.

The scientists of Bharathiar University have engaged in studying the ecosystem of soil microbes.

These microbes colonize plant roots; hence these scientists have isolated a fungus which can promote growth even in low water conditions.


There are several microbes that colonize plant roots. However, one important and main microbe type is Arbuscular Mycorrhiza.

It is famous for mobilizing soil nutrients, mainly phosphorous.

Certain microorganisms associated with the plant roots may be disease-causing pathogens as well.

Two groups of soil microorganisms can also be found in the same plant roots some times.

In this scenario, the scientists carefully examined the phenomenon in the roots of tomato plants which hosts Arbuscular Mycorrhiza and endophytic fungus.

This endophytic fungus lives inside the plant tissue. The scientists identified it as Nectria haematococca.

It produces melanin pigment which gives it a dark colour and that’s why it is called Dark Septate Endophytic Fungi.

This fungus has been cultured in the lab by scientists to evaluate its role in enhancing the plant in water shortage conditions.

They tested with two sets of potted tomato plants. One is grown normally and another was treated with fungus inoculum.

They restricted the water to the plants and thus induced water deficit conditions.

After eight weeks when they tested the growth parameters, the plant that was treated with N. haematococca culture showed better growth.

They also tested the roots under microscope and found that the endophytic fungi helped the plant to grow even in water deficit conditions.

Image Reference: Thebetterindia

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