Knowledge and conservation of diversity in symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi is of crucial importance for their efficient use in environmental conservation and sustainable plant production systems. The recalcitrance of these microorganisms to pure culture, and the absence of information about plasmogamy, karyogamy or meiosis, means that information about the genetical bases of any variations in their population biology, ecological specificity or symbiotic activity is generally lacking. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary to identify significant differences between populations, species or isolates. An overview is presented of some of the morphological, biological and molecular aspects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi that may contribute to defining and understanding biodiversity in this group of symbiotic microorganisms.
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