A scientific view
The term mycorrhiza is borrowed from the Greek and is composed of the words for "fungus" and "root". Freely interpreted, therefore, mycorrhiza means “fungus root”.In terms of science, mycology is the study of fungi. In the natural world, fungi constitute a separate kingdom alongside animals and plants. Fungi are in turn subdivided into various classes, among which are the arbiscular mycorrhiza fungi (glomeromycota). The arbiscular mycorrhiza fungi are the most widespread and oldest mycorrhiza fungi. On the basis of specific characteristics, in addition to the arbiscular mycorrhiza fungi, the traditional classification system also includes ectomycorrhiza and endomycorrhiza.
A symbiosis between fungus and plant
In the soil, these fungi form a network of extremely fine, filament-like cells (of fungus), so-called hyphae. These surround and even penetrate the fine roots of the host plants. In doing so, the mycorrhiza fungi extend the root system of the plants and penetrate areas of the soil that are normally unavailable to the plant roots. A fungal network may vary in size. In this symbiosis, the fungus provides the plant with additional nutrients and water and in exchange receives carbohydrates, i.e., sugar that it cannot produce on its own.
The fascinating thing is that more than 80% of all terrestrial plants already enter into a symbiotic relationship with these fungi. However, the mycorrhiza fungi not only foster improved plant growth and form an extended root system, but also help the plant to survive periods of stress, for example, dry spells.
CN Construct expanded clay is a suitable carrier material for mycorrhiza
Not every type of expanded clay is automatically suitable as a carrier material. The mycorrhiza fungi ask very stringent requirements of their carrier in this regard. Only a few types of expanded clay can even satisfy these stringent requirements. Because of its quality and positive properties, our CN GreenLine crushed expanded clay granulate in the 0.5 – 4-mm particle range is a suitable carrier material and can be inoculated with these mycorrhiza fungi. In the process, the spores of the mycorrhiza fasten onto the porous pores of the expanded clay (inoculum) and can even survive there for several years.
A few companies have come to specialise in breeding mycorrhiza fungi. Then the fungi are put to targeted use in the agricultural industry; in some areas of today's biological, ecological and even conventional agriculture and forestry, as well as in the fruit and vegetable farming, they are added to the soil. Using CN Construct expanded clay granulate that has been inoculated with mycorrhiza also results in other advantages for the agricultural industry. Crop yields are, in part, higher and more rapid, and it is also possible to boost fruit quality. Moreover, the expanded clay acts in the soil as a natural, purely mineral substrate. Examples of spheres of application are: Berry bushes, flowering plants, vegetables, grain, potatoes, herbs, maize, fruit trees, orchids, soy, vineyards and other areas of cultivation.