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Mycorrhizal Fungi, a Great Plant Partner

When you think of fungus and plants together, typically that is not a good thing. However, mycorrhizal fungi are great plant partners that work in the soil to enhance a plant’s root system. The biofertilizers aid in plant growth and the nutrient cycle as well as improving soil health in general.

UF/IFAS is offering a short course in Applied Soil Microbiology Training: Mycorrhizae this summer. Over three days of classroom, lab, and fieldwork, students will cover such topics as sampling techniques, knowing how and when to use which mycorrhizal fungi, and developing, evaluating, and applying the mycorrhizal fungi.

Participants over the past 13 years have included environmental scientists and consultants, Extension agents, and landscapers. Farmers have also taken the training, especially those who want to organically raise crops. Enrollment in the course is limited to the first 12 participants and registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Two members of the UF/IFAS Soil and Water Sciences Department teach the course. Abid Al Agely is a senior biological scientist and Andy Ogram is a professor of soil microbiology. Both conduct research through the Soil Microbial Ecology Lab.

This course will be held at the University of Florida’s Campus, McCarty Hall B, Room 3108. A field trip will be conducted to collect samples from the Gainesville area. Water and refreshments will be provided. You can find an agenda for the course and REGISTRATION DETAILS HERE.

WHAT PARTICIPANTS SAY ABOUT THE APPLIED SOIL MICROBIOLOGY TRAINING:

“The training gave me the opportunity of having a hands-on experience of observing the presence of mycorrhizae in the roots using the microscope.”
“The experience of isolating mycorrhizal spores is very useful for my research.”
“The training is very informative and I highly recommend it to others interested in mycorrhizae.”
“This is my second time attending this short course. My favorite aspect is the hands-on work, which is why I and other participants traveled so far to attend!”