There are many types of “good” fungi that form symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationships with plants. These relationships are known as mycorrhizae, and the microorganisms are called mycorrhizal fungi. These specialized fungi effectively extend the plant root system with mycelium – a web of long microscopic filaments called hyphae. A mycelium’s surface area can be up to 100 times greater than that of the plant root itself. This “secondary root system” absorbs valuable nutrients (and water) that otherwise are simply unavailable to the plant.
Rootella®-treated plants benefit from higher nutrient uptake, a direct result of the mycorrhizal symbiosis. This is especially notable regarding Phosphorus, a macro-nutrient that quickly binds to other organic soil molecules and becomes unavailable to plants. Mycorrhizal fungi release soil Phosphorus and make it available to the plant.
Over 90% of the Earth’s vascular plants are mycotrophs – plants which form symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi. These fungi have contributed to plants since long before humans invented agriculture. In fact, many plants are considered obligate mycotrophs, i.e. dependent on mycorrhiza for healthy growth (e.g. corn, carrot, olive, cannabis). However, modern agricultural methods, such as tilling, fumigation, cut-and-fill leveling, and sterilization of growing media, exterminate mycorrhizae along with the target pathogens. Reintroduction of mycorrhizae in soil restores the plants’ ability to absorb precious nutrients. As a result of this improvement in nutrient uptake, mycorrhizal plants have been shown to demonstrate improved health, higher crop yields and resilience to stress.
Modern agriculture has broken the living rhizospheric ecosystem, which is essential to plant life and crop health. Rootella® literally brings life back into soils, so farmers can let their ground work.
Some of the mechanisms that are instrumental in these environmental benefits are described below:
The impact of mycorrhizae on the potential reduction of phosphorus consumption is dramatic. Phosphorus (P) is a chemical element that is essential for plants and is non-renewable. Most plants are able to absorb about only 15% of the phosphorus fertilizer, leaving 85% for run-off and leading to massive excess fertilization, which causes contamination of water sources and soil and blue algae pollution, not to mention lost funds invested in wasted chemical fertilizer. Mycorrhizae are able to dissolve and actively absorb phosphorus, mobilizing it from wide soil surfaces into the plant. The end result is significant savings in phosphorus fertilizer consumption.
Mycorrhizal fungi are the only known organisms to produce glycoproteins called glomalin (incidentally named after the Glomus genus). Glomalin is a sticky substance that acts as “soil glue” that permeates organic matter and binds it to silt, sand and clay. It is what gives soil its tilth – that smooth granular texture of quality soil. Glomalin simultaneously invigorates the soil, adds to soil structure and sequesters atmospheric carbon that is passed through the symbiont plants. Studies have shown that glomalin accounts for 27% of carbon in soil, making it one of the most significant carbon sinks on earth.