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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Comparison of Two Methods for Quantifying Extraradical Mycelium of Vesicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 3, p. 834-837
    Received: May 20, 1986

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  1. Gabor J. Bethlenfalvay and
  2. Robert N. Ames2



Extraradical mycelium of Glomus mosseae (Nicol. & Gerd) Gerd. and Trappe, a vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungus, was assessed by two quantitative methods using subsamples of the same soil. Fungal biomass was determined by a chitin assay and the length of fungal hyphae in the soil was obtained by direct microscopic measurements. Total hyphal length, including hyphae <5 µm in diameter, was not correlated (P > 0.05) with total soil chitin; however, the length of hyphae ≥ 5µm in diameter correlated significantly (P < 0.01) with VAM-fungal biomass. There is a strong relationship between these methods for the determination of the extraradical VAM-fungal mycelium. The two methods permit the calculation of a “specific mass' (µg/m) for VAM-fungal hyphae. Considerations for using either method to quantify extraradical VAM-fungal mycelium are discussed.

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