Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) fungi colonize more than 80% of plants on land in which grasses are known to have higher endomycorrhizal colonization. AM fungi are a common group of symbiotic fungi in the order, Glomale of Division, Zygomycota. These fungi are known to benefit growth through increased nutrient uptake especially phosphorus. In this study, a total of 21 grass species collected from the Asan river basin, Mussoorie hills, Dehradun, Uttarakhand were screened for AM fungal root colonization and their mycorrhizal diversity. Traditional method of sieving and decanting was used for isolating mycorrhizal spores whereas for studying colonization rapid staining and clearing method was used. The highest root colonization (95±2.9) and AM spore count (234±3.56) were observed in Phalaris minor whereas Saccharum spontaneum exhibited least colonization (30±0.53) and AM spore count (46.7±14.5), respectively. The Andropogoneae (Sorghum tribe) was observed to be the most diverse tribe in association with endomycorrhizal fungi among the studied grasses. This study confirms that the grass species are highly colonized and dependent on endomycorrhizal association. The diversity and colonization patterns of endotrophic mycorrhizal fungi are described in details in this research paper. The AM fungal association with grass species provides new vistas and insight on the functioning of any grass ecosystem and also helps in harnessing the benefits of AM fungi through their usage in waste and abundant land reclamation programmes.
Abiotic stress, Arbuscular mycorrhiza, Mycorrhizal symbiosis, Plant microbe interaction, Root colonization, Spore count