Mycorrhizal Fungus Glomus iranicum var.: Possible Negative Effects of Introduction


Report no: VKM Bulletin 2024: 01

Published: 11.01.2024


The Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) finds no documented cases of the introduction of the mycorrhizal fungus Glomus iranicum var. Tenuihypharum having negative effects on Norwegian biodiversity.

VKM emphasizes that there is considerable uncertainty and limited knowledge about possible effects.


There is increasing use of fungal spores that develop mycorrhizae in Norwegian agriculture. The reason is that these fungi cooperate with plants in a way that leads to larger yields.

However, there are studies indicating that such use could also negatively impact biodiversity, as the spores may lead to the spread of alien organisms.

The introduction and release of products containing alien organisms require permission from the Norwegian Environment Agency. The background for this task is that the directorate has received an application for the introduction of six mycorrhizal-forming fungi.


VKM has conducted a brief review of the potential consequences of introducing the mycorrhizal fungus Glomus iranicum var. tenuihypharum to Norway. It has not been documented that the introduction of mycorrhizal fungi has had negative effects on biodiversity. However, VKM points out that most studies on similar mycorrhizal fungi have been conducted in greenhouses, and there is limited knowledge about outdoor conditions. Additionally, the effects of G. iranicum var. tenuihypharum on plants have mostly been tested in Southern Europe, and the tests have shown variable success in improving plant growth. The fungus has a great ability to form symbiosis with several plant species, and may have possible negative effects on biodiversity.

The review was conducted by VKM's Panel on Plant Health.


Iben Margrete Thomsen

Medlem av faggruppen for plantehelse. Cand.Silv, Ph.d.

T: +45 22 27 05 00

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