Journal of Pure and Applied MicrobiologyVol. 3 No. 2

Desert Plants and Mycorrhizae (A mini-review)

Mohamed H. Al-Whaibi

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box # 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

Received on 04 August 2009 and accepted on 16 September 2009



In natural ecosystems, roots of most plants have mycorrhizae as a major part of the rhizosphere. Although desert ecosystems are characterized by low density of vegetation cover, mycorrhizae are common as a necessity for the existence of the ecosystem. This mini-review includes sample reports of the last decades of the past century up till now reporting the presence of fungi in soils in most world deserts, presumably mycorrhizae. Moreover, the physiological role and the suggested role in the establishment of plants in disturbed land of these mycorrhizae have been explored. The overall summary is that desert ecosystems are not different from other ecosystem in the presence of mycorrhizae. These mycorrhizae might affect nutrient acquisition such as P, N, Fe, Zn, K and others. They also increase plant adaptation to drought and some other stresses.

Keywords : Desert, Arid and Semi-arid lands, Mycorrhizae, Water relations, Nutrients, Drought.