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Trends Plant Sci. 2008 Feb;13(2):93-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2007.11.006. Epub 2008 Feb 11.

Cereal mycorrhiza: an ancient symbiosis in modern agriculture.

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Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Lausanne, Biophore Building, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.


The majority of terrestrial plants live in association with symbiotic fungi that facilitate mineral nutrient uptake. The oldest and most prevalent of these associations are the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses that first evolved approximately 400 million years ago, coinciding with the appearance of the first land plants. Crop domestication, in comparison, is a relatively recent event, beginning approximately 10000 years ago. How has the dramatic change from wild to cultivated ecosystems impacted AM associations, and do these ancient symbioses potentially have a role in modern agriculture? Here, we review recent advances in AM research and the use of breeding approaches to generate new crop varieties that enhance the agronomic potential of AM associations.

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