Enhancing Establishment & Proliferation of Fungal Soil Inocula
Numerous soil fungi in a number of genera show promise as agents for biological control of soilborne plant pathogens, or for bioremediation of chemical pollutants in soil. However, poor competitive ability of introduced fungal agents in soil communities, leading to unsuccessful establishment and activity, has typically been observed. This severely limits their utility as biological control or bioremediation agents. Our goals are to understand and quantify factors that determine establishment and activity of fungi introduced into natural soils, and to develop appropriate technologies to overcome these obstacles and successfully deploy fungal biocontrol and bioremediation agents to soil systems. The objective of this project is to test the hypothesis that temporary reduction of competitive pressure from indigenous microbial communities will
enhance survival and proliferation of introduced fungi in soil.