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Keywords:

  • microsymbionts;
  • mycorrhizae;
  • rhizobia;
  • Uganda

Abstract

A symbiotic relationship involves two or more organisms living together for mutual benefit(s). Neither partner could do well without the other. Symbionts are the individual partners in the relationship. Microsymbiosis is a relationship in which one of partners is a micro-organism. Most of the symbioses involve higher plants acting as hosts to micro-organisms. Microsymbionts play a major role in plant nutrition especially for nitrogen, phosphorus and water availability in both natural and agricultural ecosystems. They are a valuable resource for national development especially to countries, like Uganda, whose economies are heavily agro-based. This review gives an inventory of the present knowledge on microsymbionts in Uganda and identifies future priorities for research, application and capacity building. In Uganda, not much is known or has been done regarding microsymbionts and their importance in both natural and agroecosystems. This may be associated with the fact that there are few scholars in the field of soil science available in the country. There is no specific policy on the conservation of microsymbionts. Attempts have been made on production and use of Rhizobium inoculants for promotion of the role of legumes in agricultural production. Other symbioses like mycorrhizae, Azolla and Frankia have not been exploited. Awareness raising and in-depth research on soil microsymbionts’ production and use are recommended.