Fungi glomalin and soil c

The authors highlighted the ability of proactively designing a
pest-resilient food systems to outperform a system that react to pests
chemically. Soil fungi that control insect pests

“Overall, the conversion of forest to monoculture plantations decreased soil quality and the abundance of K-strategists, retarded the decomposition of persistent organic matter, but boosted the prevalence of r-strategists in a more diverse fungal community.” (

Fungal endophytes protect the plant.

The Biology of Soil Compaction: “Soil compaction is a result of the lack of active roots producing polysaccharides and root exudates, and a lack of mycorrhizal fungus producing glomalin. In a typical undisturbed soil, fungal hyphae are turned over every 5 to 7 days and the glomalin in the fungal hyphae is decomposed and continually coats the soil particles.”

The authors of the French study go so far as to say that “F:B ratio should be a useful new bioindicator of soil status.”

The vast majority of known fungal species are strict saprophytes; only very
few species (less than 10% of identified fungi) can colonize plants.
Phytopathogenic fungi represent an even smaller fraction of these plant
colonizers. (

As Dr. Allen Williams of Understanding Ag says, fungal networks in the soil are like gauze Reduced fungal activity with tillage ( “the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi is strikingly low in arable sites compared with a woodland.”( Swiss study found that inoculating soil with mycorrhizal fungi increased corn yields by 40% in fields ravaged with fungal pathogens.  Adding mycorrhizals sped up the ecological succession process to where it naturally is: checks and balances. ( ) Now we really know why “The basic reason for the high incidence of soil-borne diseases in croplands is the deterioration of the soil micro-ecological environment that often disrupts the soil microbial community balance.” (Mazzola 2007)( They get ripped and torn when tillage equipment runs through a field or pasture.

“Monocultures are ideal fungal pathogen feeding and breeding grounds.” (

  • AMP grazing systems outperformed CG systems by
    generating: (a) 92.68 g m−2 more standing crop biomass (SCB), promoting
    46% higher pasture photosynthetic capacity; (b) a strong positive linear
    relationship of SCB with fungal biomass and fungal to bacterial (F:B)
    biomass ratio. (Johnson et al., 2022)
  • Total microbial biomass was, on average, 1.3 and 2.0
    times higher in soils from multi-paddock pastures than in soils from
    conventionally managed
    pastures and hayfields, respectively. Relative
    fungal biomass in MP soils was 1.4 times higher than in CM soils and
    1.7 times higher than in hayfield soils. (Kleppel, 2019)
    Mean arbuscular mycorrhizal and protozoan biomasses in CM and hayfield
    samples were about 10% of those in MP soils. Rhizobia were undetectable
    in 80% of the samples from CM pastures and 57% of the samples from
    hayfields. (Kleppel, 2019)
  • Fungal biomass increased most with increasing plant
    diversity resulting in a significant shift in the fungal-to-bacterial
    biomass ratio at high plant diversity. Fungal biomass increased
    significantly with plant diversity-induced increases in root biomass and
    the amount of root exudates. (Eisenhauer et al., 2017)

Speaking of Trichoderma, these fungal friends are my personal
favorite soil superhero whose presence we need to be promoting with our
management practices. They do it all: “They act through various complex
mechanisms, such as mycoparasitism, the degradation of pathogen cell
walls, competition for nutrients and space, and induction of plant
resistance.” (
During mycoparasitic interactions, production of hydrolytic enzymes such
as glucanase, chitinase and protease and also signalling pathways are
initiated by Trichoderma spp. and the important ones are
Heterotrimeric G protein, MAP kinase and cAMP pathway.

Several hundred separate plant genes that affect protein expression are altered with root colonization of Trichoderma
species, with the majority of altered gene expression in the shoots of
colonized plants rather than the roots (Shoresh et al., 2010).

Trichoderma strains are used as biological control agents
for both their direct and indirect mechanisms of actions. These fungi
directly outcompete pathogens for space and nutrients and aggressively
parasitize competitors through the production of hydrolytic enzymes
and/or metabolites (Harmen, GE 2004; Vinale et al., 2008). Trichoderma
genus members compete specifically with plant pathogenic fungi and
oomycetes (Debbi et al., 2018), but predation has also been observed
against harmful bacteria, viruses, insects and nematodes (Coppola et
al., 2017; Elsharkawy et al., 2013). Indirectly, plants inoculated with Trichoderma
trigger an increased defense response known as induced systemic
resistance (ISR) (Moran-Diez et al., 2020; Shoresh, 2010; Hermosa, 2012;
Cordo et al., 2007), that further protects the plant from soil-borne
and foliar pathogens. ISR is thought to be mediated by jasmonic acid
(JA) and ethylene (ET) pathways (Ramirez-Valespino, 2019). However, this
is likely to be more complex, as studies have shown that Trichoderma colonizes JA-impaired Arabidopsis plants
just as much as wild-type plants with functioning JA-producing systems
(Martinez-Medina et al., 2016a). Salicylic acid (SA) pathways are
expected to prevent certain Trichoderma species from colonizing
vascular root systems (Alonso-Ramirez, 2014), thereby helping the plant
keep the fungus in check. Interestingly, Trichoderma species
have even been found to induce both the fast-acting SAR and ISR plant
defense pathways when under attack from nematodes (Martinez-Medina et
al., 2016b), further demonstrating the complexity of this
plant-microbial relationship.

William Bateson,
the man who coined the term ‘genetics’, said “We commonly think of
animals and plants as matter, but they are really systems through which
matter is continually passing.”  discussing fungi, “A mycelial network
is a map of a fungus’ recent history and is a helpful reminder that all
life-forms are in fact processes, not things. The “you” of five years
ago was made from different stuff than the “you” of today.