Conserving mycorrhizal diversity

Given the spectrum of benefits that can be derived from mycorrhiza, the Center for Mycorrhizal Culture Collection (CMCC) was established at TERI to both conserve and derive benefits from mycorrhizal diversity in 1993.The depository houses and maintains cultures from 12 different agro-ecological zones out of a total of 20 identified in the country, with 450 isolates of mycorrhizal fungi that foster growth in India's mycorrhiza research sector, by providing starter cultures to laboratories.

Apart from these cultures, the CMCC has a culture collection of fungal isolates from wheat agricultural fields (400 in number) and from environmentally vulnerable and degraded land including industrial wastelands, forming an invaluable reservoir of genetic diversity of agriculturally and industrially important fungi.

TERI has also actively characterised CMCC germplasm at the morphological, biochemical, molecular and functional level for further exploitation of the mycorrhiza.

View of Polyhouse CMCC
Mycorrhizal Spores
Objectives
  • Procure various mycorrhizal strains from within and outside the country.
  • Screen, isolate, identify, multiply and maintain native mycorrhizal fungi in pure culture.
  • Develop a database on cultures maintained at CMCC.
  • Provide starter fungal cultures to laboratories from the research and industry sectors on request.
  • Provide training in taxonomy for identification of specimens using cutting-edge tools such as image analysis.
  • Create libraries of voucher specimens to facilitate identification with the help of reference species.
  • Develop user-friendly digital herbaria of certain mycorrhizal fungi.
  • Identify fungal species received from various organisations, universities and researchers on request.
  • Characterising CMCC germplasm to determine its molecular, biochemical and functional properties.
Sponsor: Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
Duration: 5 years
Achievements
  • Establishment of Centre for Mycorrhizal Culture which supplies both ecto and endo mycorrhizal cultures on request.
  • Development of patented in vitro mass production technology of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • Development of patented technology for freezing of ectomycorrhizal fungal cultures
View of CMCC Cultures
Posted on: 4 June 2010  |   Project status: Completed