The original purpose of isolating beneficial microorganisms from soil, especially from the rhizosphere of plants, was to obtain microorganisms, which showed a growth promotion effect in plants. In addition to this effect, subsequent studies have investigated direct suppressive effects on pathogens. Due to the large amount of research undertaken over the years, we now know that this view is limited. This chapter has focused on PGPF, mycorrhizal fungi, and endophytic fungi, all of which show efforts as plant growth promoters and disease suppressors, and the mechanisms of mineralization, hormone production, antagonism, and induced resistance have been considered. These mechanisms are commonly involved in plant-growth promotion or disease suppression by PGPF, mycorrhizal fungi, and endophytic fungi to some degree depending on the fungi studied. These fungi are symbiotic to plant roots, and so they offer advantages for keeping the plant healthy for long durations. In addition, mineralization and hormone production by these fungi have the potential to substantially improve agricultural productivity and to reduce environmental costs. The reduction in nitrogen fertilizer usage due to the use of these fungi can be expected to substantially reduce nitrate pollution of ground and surface water. In addition to these antagonistic activities, induced resistance in plants treated with these fungi broadens the potential range of pathogens that may be controlled. This resistance coupled with long-term colonization should provide important new tools for highly economical pest control with minimal environmental pollution.
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