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Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services$
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Diana H. Wall, Richard D. Bardgett, Valerie Behan-Pelletier, Jeffrey E. Herrick, T. Hefin Jones, Karl Ritz, Johan Six, Donald R. Strong, and Wim H. van der Putten

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199575923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575923.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 October 2019

Linking Soil Biodiversity and Human Health: Do Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Contribute to Food Nutrition?

Linking Soil Biodiversity and Human Health: Do Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Contribute to Food Nutrition?

Chapter:
(p.153) Chapter 3.3 Linking Soil Biodiversity and Human Health: Do Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Contribute to Food Nutrition?
Source:
Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services
Author(s):

Pedro M. Antunes

Philipp Franken

Dietmar Schwarz

Matthias C. Rillig

Marco Cosme

Martha Scott

Miranda M. Hart

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575923.003.0015

Soil microbes are well known to improve plant nutrition. However, there is little information on whether these effects can be beneficial for human health. Using the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis as a model, this chapter illustrates the variety of mechanisms whereby soil microbes may be effective in improving the nutritional quality of crop plants and alleviating malnutrition. To do this, it may be necessary to rethink some common agricultural practises, such as tillage and monocropping, which can negatively affect the diversity and functioning of soil microbes. Many questions remain to be answered, such as which crops will respond best to AM fungal biofertilizers, and whether nutrient uptake or production in plants is linked to specific microbes. It is argued that crop nutrient quality is an important issue for growers and consumers alike, and that soil biodiversity may be a powerful tool in creating sustainable, healthy communities.

Keywords:   global food security, crop nutrients, rhizosphere microbes, beneficial microorganisms, food quality, arbuscular mycorrhiza, mutualism, rhizobia, cyanobacteria, rhizobacteria

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