Keywords: Arbuscular mycorrhiza, induced resistance, fungal pathogens, insects, root parasitic plants, hormone signalling, priming, jasmonates, strigolactones, aba





On this website you can find information about our research, the people in the group, and a list of our publications.

Most of our publications can be downloaded from this website! 


We are interested in the mechanisms by which beneficial soil microorganisms are able to boost plant defence responses making them more resistant/tolerant to diseases and pests. Our research focuses in the effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on plant defense responses and its impact on plant resistance. We pay special attention to the mechanisms and hormone signalling pathways involved in such responses and mycorrhizal establishment using tomato as a model plant.

Interesting links about arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis and our research interest:


We currently form part of the COST Action FA1405 (2015-2019): 'CAMo Interactions' (http://www.cost-fa1405.eu/)

And formed part of COST Action FA1206 (2013-2017): STREAM: 'Strigolactones: biological roles and applications' (http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/fa/FA1206)



Arbuscular mycorrhizas are the mutualistic association between fungi from the phylum Glomeromycota and the roots of most plant species. Both symbionts get important benefits: the plant supplies carbohydrates to the fungus, and the fungus improves plant nutrition by helping in the uptake of water and mineral nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. The group of Mycorrhizas at the Department of Soil Microbiology and Symbiotic systems at the EEZ has been studying different aspects of this association for more than 25 years.



Although an improved nutrition status is the most widely known benefit of the association for the plant, mycorrhizal plants are also able to better overcome biotic and abiotic stresses. In the past we showed that mycorrhizal associations significantly protect tomato plants against the soil borne pathogen Phytophthora parasitica (1). Numerous studies confirm that the mycorrhizal association can alter the outcome of the plant interaction with pathogens, nematodes, insects and root parasitic plants (2). We found out that bioprotection by mycorrhizal fungi results from a combination of local and systemic effects, as evidenced by ultrastructural studies and biochemical analyses (3,4). This mycorrhizal induced protection seems to be associated to transcriptional and hormonal changes within the host plant (5). Now we aim to understand this phenomenon of Induced Resistance in depth following genomic and metabolomic approaches. Special efforts are devoted to determine the main signalling pathways and key regulators involved in the process.



Maria Jose Pozo and Juan A. López Ráez

Soil Microbiology and SymbioticSystems

Estación Experimental del Zaidín (CSIC)

Profesor Albareda 1, 18008 Granada, Spain

E-mail: mjpozo@eez.csic.es and juan.lopezraez@eez.csic.es

Tfno : +34 958 181600 ext 233 or 223

Fax : +34 958 129600


Designed by: Manuel Gonzalez Guerrero