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Applied Soil Microbiology Training: Mycorrhizae


Entering its 16th year, the UF/IFAS Mycorrhizae training course is popular among organic farmers, scientists, and those in the soil amendment industry. It is designed for individuals interested in the practical and theoretical aspects of using mycorrhizal fungi to enhance plant growth and nutrient cycling. Typical fields of interest include studies in soil and plant interactions in agriculture and horticulture, plant biology and ecology, ecosystem carbon flux, and symbiosis research.

During the three-day course, participants receive a blend of practical laboratory sessions supported by lectures and discussions. By the end of the course, participants are able to isolate the fungi spores and use them as bio-fertilizer. In addition, participants are able to determine the efficiency at which the spores make associations and if they are working. Participants also receive technical manuals containing all experimental protocols.

The course provides up-to-date training and instruction and completing the course gives attendees both knowledge and credibility. Upon conclusion, each participant receives a Certificate of Completion. Class size is limited and early registration is advisable.


Soil is home to millions of microorganisms, most of which are very important for healthy plant growth. Most of these microorganisms influence soil fertility and plant productivity through decomposition and nutrient recycling, but some, such as mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria, directly interact with plants and promote their growth. Testing the quality and quantity of these important microorganisms is a very valuable option in optimizing plant growth. Learn more about our Soil Biology Testing services here.

Who Should Attend?



Plant Scientists


Environmental Consultants

Organic Farmers



Environmental Engineers

Agricultural Scientists

Agricultural Engineers


Water Scientists

Soil Scientists

Extension Agents



Land Use Planners

Environmental Scientists

 Others Seeking Rigorous Training in mycorrhizal association

14 Ways to Benefit

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Examine the mycorrhizal status of plants.
  2. Evaluate the mycorrhizal status of soils
  3. Estimate root length percent colonization
  4. Estimate the mycorrhizal inoculum potential of plant
  5. Estimate the mycorrhizal inoculum potential of soils
  6. Certify the quality and quantity of mycorrhizal inoculum
  7. Identify and describe mycorrhizal fungi
  8. Culture and multiply mycorrhizal inoculum
  9. Mass production of mycorrhizal inoculum
  10. Use mycorrhizal fungi as biofertilizers
  11. Use mycorrhizal inoculum to improve plant growth and development
  12. Use mycorrhizal association to improve soil quality
  13. Use mycorrhizal fungi in cleaning contaminated soils
  14. Advance your overall training and expertise to be an environmental consultant, soil microbiology tester, mycorrhizal estimator, or mycorrhizal inoculum supplier

Meeting Schedule

Day 1 - Monday
09:00 - 10:00 Welcome and Course Overview
10:00 - 12:00 Laboratory: Overview
1. Sampling Techniques
2. Collect Field Samples
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch on own
13:00 - 17:00 Lecture - Importance of mycorrhizal fungi to agronomy and forestry:
1. General examples from each system
2. General overview of why they are beneficial
- Northern vs Temperate vs Tropical Latitudes
- When are they NOT beneficial
- When are they used

Day 2 - Tuesday
09:00 - 12:00 Lecture - Physiology and Ecology of Mycorrhizal Fungi
1. Overview Physiology of AM fungi
2. Specificity (and lack thereof) in mycorrhizal relations
3. The colonization process
4. Extracellular enzymes and the release of nutrients
5. The roles of helper bacteria and the mycorrhizosphere
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch on own
13:00 - 17:00 Laboratory – Practical Applications:
1. Development of inocula
    - Production
    - Variety of carrier materials
2. Industry standards for inocula
3. Characterization and evaluation of inocula
    - Spore Estimation
    - Estimate Root Colonization
    - Mycorrhizal Inoculum Potential (MIP) Test

Day 3 - Wednesday
09:00 - 12:00 Lecture - Diversity of fungi
1. Why should we care about the diversity
2. Taxonomic and Physiological relationships
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch on own
13:00 - 16:00 Laboratory – Practical Techniques:
1. Microscope Observation
2. Morphological Identification
3. Pot Culture Initiation
16:00 - 17:00 Discussion and Questions

Course Instructors

Abid Al Agely photo for mycorrhizae training course

Abid Al Agely

Abid is a mycologist and microbial ecologist with special interest in phytoremediation.
Phone: 352-294-3144

Andy Ogram 210x225

Andy Ogram

Andy is a microbiologist and microbial ecologist with an interest in biogeochemical cycling.
Phone: 352-294-3138

Registration Information

How to select the right class for you

Mycorrhizal training is offered in three formats; on-demand (year-round), ZOOM Meeting (three classes a year), and On-Campus class (once a year). In all three formats, the online materials will be open for you six months after finishing the class. During the on-campus class, field sampling is on the first day or you can bring your own samples to work on. The other two formats (on-demand and Zoom classes), you can finish the class, then do your own sampling to practice. Help with your mycorrhizal project can be provided through email or a one-hour Zoom meeting that can be arranged in advance.    

It is recommended to go through the needed materials to select the right class. (Mycorrhizal Training Materials) If you have the materials and find instructions and videos are enough, the on-demand class could be the right one for you. If you have the materials and need instructions for lectures and laboratory protocols, the Zoom class could be right for you. If you find in-person and hand-on-experience is needed and you do not have the needed materials, then the on-campus class could be the right one for you. Contact Abid with any questions.





Photos from Previous Mycorrhizal Training Sessions