For everyone who has accessed the INVAM website since it went on-line in 1990, change has finally come! Pages and their navigation have been redone to make them ADA compliant. The website languished for some years because of difficulty accessing the site when it was moved to a university server. A content management system for rapid production of traditional-style web sites became available through WVU Web Services (called Slate) and we have worked about a year to migrate content and create new links. Much still remains to be done, but ease of access now makes regular and frequent updates feasible again.
The content of this website focuses on a group of soil-borne fungi found in almost any habitat worldwide that colonize the roots of many plant species to facilitate uptake of nutrients (mostly immobile phosphorus) and provide other benefits, both directly and indirectly. This mutually beneficial partnership (or symbiosis) is called an “arbuscular mycorrhizal” association: “arbuscular” referring to the fungal structure interfacing with the plant and “mycorrhizal” referring to the fungus (myco) – root (rhizo) interaction. This particular mycorrhizal association began more than 400 million years ago with the first land plants and has coevolved to the present day, so that almost 80% of all plant species form this association. As obligate symbionts, the fungi have evolved exclusively in association with their plant hosts and so it is no surprise that they comprise a unique and separate evolutionary lineage now classified as the phylum Glomeromycota. The symbiotic association has a net benefit to both partners, or they would have gotten a “divorce” long before now. This benefit can be physiological, nutritional, ecological or any combination of these processes. Therefore, exploiting and managing mycorrhizas has important and sustainable consequences for agricultural and natural ecosystems.
The information herein is divided into four sections. The “collection” section documents infrastructure, staff, and outputs from collection operations. The “cultures” section documents the coding system for all stocks in the collection and a searcheable database of available stocks. The section on “fungi” informs on how these organisms are named and classified and includes individual pages documenting properties of all species in the collection. The “methods” section covers protocols used in the collection to manipulate, assess, and maintain fungi in the collection.
Enjoy your visit!