Douds, D., Nagahashi, G., Pfeffer, P., Kayser, W., and C. Reider. 2005. On-farm production and utilization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus inoculum. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 85,1:15-21.

Abstract: Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi colonize the roots of the majority of crop plants, forming a symbiosis that potentially enhances nutrient uptake, pest resistance, water relations, and soil aggregation. Inoculation with effective isolates of AM fungi is one way of ensuring the potential benefits of the symbiosis for plant production. Although inocula are available commercially, on-farm production of AM fungus inoculum would save farmers the associated processing and shipping costs. In addition, farmers could produce locally adapted isolates and generate a taxonomically diverse inoculum. On-farm inoculum production methods entail increasing inoculated isolates or indigenous AM fungi in fumigated or unfumigated field soil, respectively, or transplanting pre-colonized host plants into compost-based substrates. Subsequent delivery of the inoculum with seed to the planting hole in the field presents technological barriers that make these methods more viable in labor-intensive small farms. However, a readily available method for utilization of these inocula is mixing them into potting media for growth of vegetable seedlings for transplant to the field. Direct application of these inocula to the field and transplant of seedlings precolonized by these inocula have resulted in enhanced crop growth and yield.