AMF, a natural symbiotic fungus increases
fertilizer efficiency

AMF is the acronym for Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi. Over 90% of terrestrial plants naturally live in symbiosis with mycorrhiza. While the fungus gets fed with biological building blocks (as fatty acids and sugars), the fungus supplies nutrients like salts to the plant. In symbiosis with the host plant, the accessible soil volume is massively increased and nutrients are actively transported into the host plant. This symbiosis is nature´s solution for scarce nutrients. Our product facilitates the utilization of this natural approach of yield increase in conventional agriculture.

Advantages of AMF use in agriculture

Massively increased accessible soil volume

- Increased Volume lavel of soil

Plants get their nutrients from the soil the root can access. Consequently, a high nutrient concertation in the soil leads to a higher crop yield than a low nutrient concentration. However, this correlation is limited by the capacity of the soil to retain nutrients. Rainwater takes the nutrients into a lower soil level. There, the nutrients are out of reach for the plant roots. Plant roots can actively transport nutrients from the soil in the range of only 1 mm around the circumference of the root. The structure of the mycelium of mycorrhiza is far more delicate than the macroscopic plant roots and can reach much more of the given soil volume. Plants that form a symbiosis with mycorrhiza increase their accessible soil volume 4-15-fold (Jansa et al 2003).

+150% increase in nutrient uptake efficiency

- Increased nutrient uptake efficiency

The active nutrient uptake via AMF improves the plants nutrient uptake (+175-190% ; Li-Ping et. al. 2009) and thus naturally enhances the overall crop yield. Nutrient losses by washout of e.g. Phosphorus (33%) and Nitrogen (36%) are approximately cut in half, to 15-16%. Consequently, fertilizer application can be reduced by 15% and crops benefit from enhanced growth and increased biomass.

Increased water efficiency

- Increased lavel of Water

Furthermore, the symbiosis with AMF increases the crop’s resistance to disease and its tolerance to drought. Independent studies have demonstrated that AMF treated crops show an approximately 20% higher crop yield than untreated crops (Subramanian et al, 2005; Torres-Barragàn 1996). This yield increase owned to AMF is even more pronounced under increasingly arid conditions. Water is bound and consequently retained within the soil horizon accessible to the plant via Glomalin, (Biopolymer) produced by AMF.

Production methods are not scalable

Mycorrhiza cannot reproduce without a host due to its inability to produce the necessary building blocks on its own. This means mycorrhiza can only survive and reproduce in symbiosis with a plant. The fungus starts its lifecycle as a spore, which contain a limited supply of nutrients. The fungus must engage in symbiosis with a plant to gain access to an exchange relation. Without a host, the fungus is prone to die of starvation. Only if the fungus is successful and “finds” a plant, trace elements and nutrients can be exchanged against sugars and other fatty acids.


In vivo production

Common approach

The conventional approach for Mycorrhiza production is "in vivo". Whole plants are inoculated (infected) with mycorrhiza and grown in greenhouses in a growth substrate made of e.g. perlite/sand or other porous carrier materials. In symbiosis with the plant, both parties grow. The fungus multiplies in the growth substrate. At the end of the growth period, everything is let to dry, the green parts of the plant are removed and the substrate including plant roots and mycorrhiza is homogenized. This production approach is very close to the natural way of mycorrhiza reproduction, but on the other hand, the environmental factors can only be controlled to a certain extent in a greenhouse.


In vitro production

A more advanced approach is based on growing transformed roots in glassware. A bacterium, Agrobacillus is used to naturally transform the plant root. This transformed root can grow without leaves or green parts. Despite the significant metabolic changes induced by Agrobacillus, these transformed roots are not genetically modified, since Agrobacillus tranformations naturally occur in nature. These transformed roots lack the green shoot. The necessary nutrients and are therefore supplied via the growth media. These transformed roots are called "hairy roots" and are commonly grown on solid or in liquid growth media. This "in-vitro" production approach allows the production of Mycorrhiza all year round, independent of climatic conditions and vegetative cycles of the host plant. The downside of this process is the requirement for substantial amounts of manual labor. In addition, the amount of manual labor grows in proportion to the production volume.

Current pricing is hardly attractive

Unfortunately, the currently available AMF products make it difficult to gain an economic benefit from the usage of AMF. Various mycorrhiza products are sold worldwide. The price comparison is extremely complex in general, not only for the end user. Besides containing different AMF species, the concentration of the active ingredient (the spores) is hardly ever specified. This is of high relevance since the number of spores directly drives the effect but also the cost of goods during production. Given the high effort necessary for mycorrhiza production correlated with conventional in-vitro production approaches, the cost of goods for the production of mycorrhiza make an economically feasible pricing hardly possible.

AMF production at a disruptive price

Evologic has developed a novel in vitro production process based on a bioreactor instead of shake flasks.

Great Scalability

This approach allows using the economy of scale since the amount of manual labor stays constant even for a production run at > 50m3. Hereby, we are transferring bioprocess control and -optimization routines originating from the pharma industry to achieve high product quality.

High Product Quality

This approach allows using the economy of scale since the amount of manual labor stays constant even for a production run at > 50m3. Hereby, we are transferring bioprocess control and -optimization routines originating from the pharma industry to achieve high product quality.

Want to join/Participate? - reach out to us

We are always looking for highly self-motivated team players as well as additional investments to move forward faster. As a team, we enjoy scientific reasoning and challenging each other to identify the most practical solution with the highest probability to enable progress. If interested in the topic, wanting to contribute financially as well as practically please use the contact form. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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