Brief Overview of Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Research Conducted in Russia Over the XX TH Century
Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) is one of the most common terrestrial plant-microbe symbioses. The interest in studying AM is caused by its importance for the growth and nutrition of plants and its ecological role in preserving biological diversity. At present, 92% of plant families are known to form AM. Fungi in AM are obligate symbionts and belong to a monophyletic group – Glomeromycotina subdivision. Some researchers believe that formation of AM-symbiosis with fungi by ancient plants allowed them to inhabit land, which has led to the formation of the biosphere as we know it. AM is studied by researchers from around the world including Russia. This overview presents in brief the results of AM research in Russia during the Soviet period which did not receive international coverage due to its classified nature; the most prominent research schools and works of AM researchers are identified; main stages and lines of this research are listed, such as: distribution of AM in plant communities and different climatic zones, mycorrhiza anatomy and morphology, fungi species composition on different soils, collection of AM fungi and growing AM in vitro, physiological role of AM for agricultural plants, the impact different ecological factors have on AM fungi species composition and AM development, conditions for effective use of Am fungi to increase productivity and quality of agricultural plants as well as to perform biological recultivation of toxic soils and restore the fertility of degraded soils.