Two international trainings on the in vitro culture of AM fungi are offered by the CESAMM/GINCO teams.

For more information, visit: International trainings website

Strain catalogue > Cultivation techniques

External links:

Training on in vitro culture of AMF organised by the CESAMM

Reference book:

In Vitro Culture of Mycorrhizas

Classical methodology

The most commonly used method to propagate AMF remains the pot cultivation. However, this method:

In vitro culture

When grown on a suitable synthetic growth medium in association with excised roots, AMF cultures can be maintained pure and viable for long term periods.

The methodologies commonly used to grow AMF in GINCO are fully described by Cranenbrouck et al. (methodologies for in vitro cultivation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi with root organs) In: Declerck S., Strullu D.G. and Fortin J.A. (Eds), In Vitro Culture of Mycorrhizas, to be published in Springer-Verlag, end March 2005.

Advantages of the in vitro culture of AMF
Reliability of cultures contaminant free cultures throughout life cycle.
Monospecificity of fungal inoculum no cross contamination with other Glomeromycota throughout life cycle.
Non-destructive monitoring morphological observations conducted without disturbance of the intimate coexistence of host roots and AMF during whole life cycle.
Efficient system for
  • physiological studies: culture conditions are standardized thus facilitating studies on the impact of environmental factors;
  • molecular and biochemical studies: optimal conditions due to the absence of undesirable contaminants;
  • mass-inoculum production: feasible through regular subculture.
Lower space and time requirements produced under growth chamber controlled conditions.
Easy quality control and fungal growth quantification important for high scale production of both in vivo and in vitro propagation.
Inconvenients related to the in vitro culture of AMF compared to pot cultures
Sterile environment high precaution (controlled atmosphere, laminar flow hood, …) are needed to succeed.
Technical training

may be necessary to acquire expertise.

Training on in vitro culture of AMF is organised by the Mycorhizal Research Team (UCL).

Low sporulation levels for some species make them less distributable or distributable at a prohibitive price.
Number of available strains several strains are cultivated but few distributed.
Continuous cultivation difficulty to maintain some strains under continuous growth.
Physiological and genetic characters potential loss of strains characters due to successive transfers.


With the availability for the scientific and the industry communities of high quality and contaminant-free AMF inocula, very innovative research and development possibilities, up to now neglected, will be greatly facilitated:


Cranenbrouck S., Voets L., Bivort C., Strullu D. G. and Declerck S., Methodologies for in vitro cultivation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. In: Declerck S., Strullu D.G. and Fortin A.(eds.), In Vitro Culture of Mycorrhizas, to be published in Srpinger Verlag, end March 2005.

Published Glomeromycota species cultivated in vitro on root organs (Cranenbrouck et al.)


*: non-sporulating species
?: identification to be confirmed

Gigasporaceae (non producing vesicles)
G. gigantea
(Nicolson & Gerd.) Gerd. & Trappe

Gadkar et al., 1997
Mosse, 1988

G. margarita
Becker & Hall
Miller-Wideman and Watrud, 1984
Gadkar et al., 1997
Karandashov et al., 1999
G. rosea
Nicolson & Schenck
Bécard and Fortin, 1988, 1992
Diop et al., 1992
S. reticulata
(Koske, Miller, Walker) Walker & Sanders
de Souza and Declerck, 2003
Acaulosporaceae (producing vesicle)
A. rehmii
Sieverding & Toro
Declerck and Dalpé, 2002
Glomaceae (producing vesicles)
G. caledonium
(Nicolson & Gerd.) Trappe & Gerd.
Karandashov et al., 1999, 2000
G. cerebriforme
Samson et al., 2000
G. clarum
Nicolson & Schenck
de Souza and Berbara, 1999
G. constrictum
Mathur and Vyas, 1999
G. deserticola
Trappe, Bloss & Menge
Mathur and Vyas, 1995
G. etunicatum
Becker & Gerd.
Pawlowska et al., 1999
G. fasciculatum
(Thaxter sensu Gerd.) Gerd.&Trappe emend. Walker & Koske
Strullu an Romand, 1986
Declerck et al., 1998
*G. fistulosum
Skou & Jakobson
Nuutila et al., 1995
G. intraradices
Schenck & Smith
Strullu and Romand, 1987
Chabot et al., 1992
Diop et al., 1994a, b
St-Arnaud et al., 1996
Karandashov et al., 1999
Declerck et al., 1998
Boisson-Denier et al., 2001
Douds, 2002
G. macrocarpum
Tulasne &Tulasne
Declerck et al., 1998
*G. mosseae
(Nicolson & Gerd.) Gerd. & Trappe
Mosse and Hepper, 1975
Mugnier and Mosse, 1987
Karandashov et al., 1999
Douds, 1997
Raman et al., 2001
G. proliferum
Dalpé & Declerck
Declerck et al., 2000
G. versiforme
(Karsten) Berch
Diop et al., 1994
Declerck et al., 1998

Additionnal unpublished AMF species cultivated in vitro

Gigasporaceae (non producing vesicles)
Gigaspora albida
Schenck & Smith

Wu C-G (pers. comm.)

*Scutellospora castanea
Declerck S (pers. comm.)
S. nigra
(Redhead) Walker & Sanders
Wu C-G (pers. comm.)
Acaulosporaceae (producing vesicle)
*Acaulospora Laevis
Gerd. & Trappe
Declerck S (pers. comm.)
A. morrowae
Spain & Schenck
Wu C-G (pers. Comm.)
Glomaceae (producing vesicles)
Glomus aggregatum
Schenck &Smith emend. Koske
Moutoglis P (pers.comm.)
?G. lamellosum
Dalpé, Koske & Tews
Dalpé Y (pers. comm.)
Glomus sp. Declerck S (pers. Comm.)
Dalpé Y (pers. comm.)
Sclerocystis sinuosa
(Gerd.& Bakshi) Almeida & Schenck
Wu C-G (pers.comm.)