Mycorrhiza is the symbiotic relationship between the roots of a plant and certain soil fungi that optimize plant growth and development. The mycorrhizae colonize the roots, and in exchange for plant photosynthesized, it facilitates greater and better absorption of nutrients and water.
Mycorrhizal fungi (Mycorrhizae) are indispensable microorganisms for sustainable agriculture that contribute to the improvement of soil structure, its microbial diversity and plant nutrition, promoting better development and greater productivity. The fruits obtained will also be of higher quality and with better nutritional properties.
At Atens we reproduce our mycorrhizae using in vivo methodology following scientific rigor and bioengineering. Our greenhouses function as bioreactors, controlled by scientific personnel, from the inoculation of the host seedlings to the last stage of spore recovery at the end of their life cycle. This ensures that our product reaches the highest possible quality throughout the process, free of contamination and rich in naturally produced spores with high resistance and greater shelf-life.
Atens mycorrhizae are involved in processes that affect crops, the soil and the natural environment. Its main characteristics include:
1 – Improved soil structure and increased biodiversity
2 – Improved plant development
3 – Greater productivity
4 – Superior nutraceutical quality of the fruits
5 – Sustainability of the agricultural system and environment.
How does Mycorrhiza work?
It is an indispensable for agriculture:
Improving soil structure and moisture retention
Mycorrhiza improves soil structure through the formation of aggregates that allow greater moisture retention
Enhancing nutrient uptake through increased soil exploration
Increases the volume of soil explored for the best use of available nutritional resources
The contribution of mycorrhiza has repercussions on multiple benefits at the soil, microbiota and plant levels.
It is capable of improving soil structure
thanks to the formation of aggregates by the production of the protein glomalin and its hyphae that provide sustenance to microbiological life in the rhizosphere.
Increases production (kg/ha)
and increases the profitability of the crop (+Size, +Homogeneity, +Precocity, +Advance in fruit ripening, +Post-harvest shelf life).
Reduces the use of fertilizers
by improving access and absorption of nutrients from the soil. Among the nutrients that benefit most from this better use are both phosphorus and nitrogen.
It improves the nutraceutical, nutritional and organoleptic quality of the crops
reaching higher contents in Brix, proteins, antioxidants and vitamins.
It saves water and increases its productivity
(production per water consumed), improving its absorption and tolerance to water stress situations.
Increases resistance against salinity (Na) or pH
In toxic salt conditions, it is capable of avoiding taking up excess ions and relocating them in vacuoles away from the photosynthetic apparatus.
Own production technology
The Atensmycorrhiza is produced by a proprietary in vivo method in our own facilities.
The bioprocess, carried out in state-of-the-art greenhouses, optimizes the results by guaranteeing:
A highly concentrated inoculum.
Different formulations adapted to crop management and highly concentrated, which means that less product is needed to cover a larger area.
Maximum vitality and larger spore size.
Ensuring the full viability of the inoculum at the time of application.
The production method ensures the absence of pathogens. The restricted access to the facilities as well as the care of the biological security measures followed by the operators avoid the appearance of contamination from the outside. In addition, internal and external quality controls verify its purity and richness.
Mycorrhizal effects. Metagenomics and metabolomics
Through advanced analysis methods, based on omic sciences, we confirm the effectiveness and benefits of our mycorrhiza.
Improvement of the soil microbiota
The visible effects on the phenotype are a consequence of both the direct action of the mycorrhiza application and the indirect changes it causes in the soil microbiome, promoting beneficial bacteria and fungi, as we have seen in metagenomic studies. Species belonging to the Bacillus genera and Pseudomonas as well as Mortierella are typically favored after application and throughout microbiological treatment.
The mycorrhiza leads to the metabolic reprogramming of plants, modifying both the primary and, especially, the secondary metabolism. It acts on the production of antioxidants and regulates the synthesis and degradation of hormones through which it modulates plant physiology.
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Arbuscular mycorrhizae: they are the most widespread, they colonize the interior of the root cells forming exchange structures called arbuscules and they form the extraradical mycelium for the absorption of nutrients. They cover most crops. Ectomycorrhizae: they form a mantle around the root and are typical of most forest species. Ericoids: they belong to the Ericaceae family and exchange nutrients in ball-shaped structures inside the cell. Orchioids: in orchids they also form ball-shaped structures inside the roots. Ectendomycorrhizae: with intermediate characteristics between ectomycorrhizae and arbuscular, they form an outer mantle and interior exchange structures.
FAQ 2 - What type of mycorrhizae does ATENS produce?
Atens mainly produces arbuscular mycorrhizae (AMF) which are the ones that establish symbiosis with most of the plants of agricultural interest. ATENS also produces ectomycorrhizae for forest crops.
FAQ 3 - Why is mycorrhiza indispensable?
Without taking care of the soil there is no cultivation. In this sense, by mycorrhizing the soil we ensure the best use of nutrients. The mycorrhiza results in greater efficiency in the uptake of fertilizing elements and their transport to the plant. This better assimilation and energy saving affects the development of the plant and its productivity, increasing also its quqlity. Increased food quality Foods produced with mycorrhizal plants have been shown to have a higher content of antioxidants and vitamins, essential for a correct diet. These results especially highlight the content of anthocyanins, carotenoids, vitamin B6 and vitamin B7. Promote biodiversity Mycorrhizae are also capable of stimulating plant root exudates while providing sustenance for a diverse microbial population with their own that favors beneficial organisms for the crop. Stressful situations The increase in the diversity of edaphic microorganisms means that soil resources are better utilized by the formed food webs, leaving fewer resources for other unwanted species. Growth in unsuitable soils due to contamination by heavy metals Mycorrhizae can help plants thrive in a harsh and polluting environment. For example, it has been shown that they can alleviate the toxicity of excess arsenic through improved nutrition while preventing bioaccumulation of the heavy metal.
FAQ 4 - Is it necessary to mycorrhize crops annually?
Yes, to maintain the quality of the soil where the crops will grow. In agrosystems, there are autochthonous mycorrhizae that are inefficient for the crop, which through annual mycorrhization are displaced by high-concentration inocula that allow rapid colonization of the root.
FAQ 5 - What is it that differentiates the Atens mycorrhiza?
Atens combines an exhaustive strain selection process with its own technology to reproduce microorganisms. In the case of mycorrhiza, in vivo production using host plants grown annually in automated greenhouses guarantees the highest quality and standardization of the product, an issue that is especially relevant when dealing with a microorganism. The strains reproduced in Atens are exclusive and have been selected for being highly resistant and infective, with rapid adaptation to any type of soil. These strains guarantee an optimal symbiosis both for infectivity, greater and faster colonization that improves the exchange of nutrients, as well as for efficiency, response of the plant in terms of growth and development. From the selected strains of high potential, they reproduce with the system that allows them to do it in the best way so that once applied they contribute both to the development of crops and to the creation of a rich and healthy soil system.
FAQ 6 - Is it compatible with other microorganisms?
The mycorrhiza produced in Atens is 100% compatible with the other microorganisms developed by the company (Trichoderma and/or bacteria). In the case of combination with Trichoderma, a rapid colonization of the root by the mycorrhiza has been observed due to the rooting effect of Trichoderma. We have also shown that Atens bacteria facilitate colonization through the production of pectolytic enzymes. Clarification, these synergies are only guaranteed between products developed by the company.
FAQ 7 - Why spores are the best indicator of quality?
Atens quantifies mycorrhizal richness in the best performing parameter: spores. Spores are the most resistant propagule of the fungus. Its thick cell walls give it a much higher shelf-life than the rest of the fungal structures, maintaining its richness. In addition, they are less affected by environmental conditions such as extreme temperatures. It is the most representative measure of product quality. Other indicators such as hyphae and/or colonized rootlets are not good indicators of product quality as they are much less resistant, and with a shorter half-life.
FAQ 8 - Is mycorrhiza compatible with commonly used active ingredients?
The Atens technical department has information about the compatibility between our mycorrhizal strains and the main active ingredients that include fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. We can advise our clients on the convenience of applying mycorrhizae and the need for a safety period between the application of the different treatments required. In this way we ensure the full vitality of the inoculum without interference with these compounds.
FAQ 9 - Does mycorrhiza work under extreme conditions?
The symbiotic association between plants and mycorrhizae gives crops special characteristics that are revealed precisely when conditions are far from ideal. For example, in conditions of drought or limited irrigation, these plants have access to more water resources. Added to the greater exploration of the soil is the fact that the smaller diameter of the fungus hyphae favors water intake from the smaller pores of the soil structure. In fact, studies have shown that as soil dries out and water is held only in smaller pores where fungal hyphae can grow but roots cannot, the hyphal water-absorbing role becomes more important. for the survival and development of plants. In addition, as a consequence of better plant hydration, water use efficiency (WUE) and cell turgor are increased, which translates into a promotion of photosynthetic capacity and plant growth. Another factor to take into account is that in mycorrhizal plants the accumulation of osmolytes such as proline, sugars or starch is frequently observed in drought conditions, favoring a lower water potential in the tissues and, consequently, a better retention of water by the plants. these. In general, these plants show a better osmotic adjustment and therefore a better water status when subjected to water deficit than non-mycorrhized plants. Under salinity conditions, mycorrhizae can drive several mechanisms in the plant to manage salt stress. It has been reported that they improve nutrient acquisition and maintain ionic homeostasis by modifying root architecture and by tracing non-saline areas until exploitation of salt areas becomes indispensable. In the same way, they improve water absorption and maintain the osmotic balance in plants, preserving homeostasis and using organic acids that can reduce the electrical conductivity of the soil, making elements such as N, P or K more available. It also protects the photosynthetic apparatus and improves its efficiency by keeping the Na+ ions in the vacuoles away from photosynthesis. The studies carried out with mycorrhizal plants in the presence of heavy metals, particularly Cu, are also very interesting. In environments contaminated with copper, such as mining operations, both active and abandoned, it has been seen that mycorrhizal plants have a greater capacity for survival. These investigations have revealed that mycorrhizal plants are capable of storing this metal in specific structures such as certain spores. The concentration of Cu reaches highly toxic levels that inactivate them metabolically but precisely preserve the rest of the fungus and the plant from their presence. These very particular spores have been called kamikazes. In short, it can be affirmed that it is precisely in the most extreme situations in which plants grow that the mycorrhiza fully exploits its potential and that is where they can make the difference between an acceptable harvest or the absence of production.
FAQ 11 - How are the different mycorrhizal strains identified in the Atens production system?
The Atens mycorrhizal strains are deposited in official banks. Each of the strains is identified and isolated in the product and using specific primers for the Glomeraceae family they are identified through the BLASTN platform. The complete sequence of the amplified fragment is part of the necessary documentation for the registration of our mycorrhizal products within the Registry of Fertilizer Products dependent on the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in Spain.
FAQ 11 - Which plant species are capable of establishing symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizae?
Arbuscular mycorrhizae (AMF) establish symbiosis with most plants but are ineffective with others. This restriction includes species from families such as Brassicaceae (cabbage, broccoli or rapeseed) and Amaranthaceae (beet, spinach). In general it is estimated that 80-90% of plants are colonized by AMF.
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