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AM biotechnology is feasible for crops using a transplant stage, as is the case with horticultural systems. Given the effects of AM inoculation on plant growth and health, as biofertilizers and bioprotectors, it is accepted that an appropriate management of this symbiosis would permit a satisfactory reduction of chemical fertilizer and pesticide inputs, key aspects for sustainable horticultural plant production approaches.
Maximum benefits will only be obtained from inoculation with efficient AM fungi and a careful selection of compatible host/fungus/substrate combinations.
The performance of micropropagated plants or artificial seeds may be greatly improved by ensuring a suitable mycorrhizal establishment at outplanting. In particular, woody horticultural plants which are difficult to root in vitro have been shown to improve their survival rate and quality when inoculated with AM fungi. Interactions between AM fungi and rhizobacteria have the potential to be a useful biotechnological tool for benefiting plant development and health throughout an integrated management approach.
Mycorrhizal inoculum production techniques need to be improved for the proper application of AM biotechnology in commercial horticultural plant production systems.