The poor development or dying that occurs among recently transplanted vines is possibly the result of the plant’s root system not taking up sufficient water and nutrients from the soil at this early stage of development. This phenomenon can possibly be reduced by inoculating the vines with a specific arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AM) prior to transplantation.
AM is a fungal group that occurs in natural association with about 80% of all roots in the plant kingdom. The symbiotic relationship between the host’s roots and the fungus is based on the fact that the fungus receives prepared carbohydrates from the host, while the host’s uptake of water and nutrients is improved by means of the hyphae emitted by the fungus from the root to the soil. The hyphae extend away from the roots of the host plant and in so doing enlarge the ground volume from which the plant can take up its water and nutrients. Plants with thin, woody root systems, such as vines, can in particular benefit from an AM symbiotic relationship.
The improved underground conditions for the young vines can therefore be beneficial to greater survival and/or improved establishment during the initial period after planting. It has been found with transplantation, that the inoculation of vines with a single species of AM fungus can improve the water relations of the host plants. Thereby, the survival of young vines can be improved.