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Manju M. Gupta
The content of this website focuses on phylum Glomeromycota of fungi that includes Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. These fungi symbiotically associate with plant roots and benefit the plant nutrition, growth and survival, due to their greater exploitation of soil for nutrients. These obligate symbionts associate with most of the plants in diverse habitat worldwide including bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms and represent an important component of biodiversity. In fact, AM fungi or AMF have been suggested to play key role in determining the distribution and abundance of plant species in any ecosystem.
A checklist on their phylo taxonomy, geographic distribution and biodiversity is of prime importance in understanding of any ecosystems functioning and forms the basis of many conservation priority approaches, e.g. in reserve selection procedures and IUCN red listing. Several of such checklists dealing with enlisting of Glomeromycota such as catalogue of life, species list and INVAM have already proven to be an effective tool in mycorrhizal research and its application to the benefit of mankind. However, Indian Glomeromycota is poorly represented in all these databases and represents, the empty areas at global distribution databases and maps such as GBIF and recently developedMaarjAM,stressing for a need for more metadata in terms of distribution checklists and biodiversity status of AMF from India.
The present database project was originally aimed at monitoring arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi distribution patterns and building a checklist on their taxonomic and biodiversity status across different states of India under Delhi University sponsored Innovation Project (SAC-206) in 2013. In 2015 the project received further grants from University Grants Commission (UGC) for extending the study up to 2018. In the first phase of the study (2013-2015) occurrence of about 148 species of AM fungi was reported across 18 states of India namely: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarkhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal (Gupta et al. 2014), Under UGC project (2015 onwards) the study has been extended to three more states namely Delhi, Tripura and Manipur reporting occurrence of 161 species. rRNA sequence data for these fungi is added as Phylogenetic Map and distribution data is available as Google Map.
The information herein is divided into 3 sections. The section Project describes the details of present scenario in India with regard to occurrence and distribution of AMF, the vision, data structure and the methods used in the present study along with brief outcomes as summary results. In the Checklist section names all the species whose description is available along with distribution Map and phylogenetic Map are included. The other section named future prospects includes the concluding remarks.
Let us hope that this proves to be useful to the present day mycorrhizologists!