Infection of ryegrass roots by vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (v.a.m.) endophytes occurring in an unfertilized virgin soil of low P status was more sensitive to increasing P supply than that by endophytes occurring in an adjacent fertilized agricultural soil. P application to soil depressed mycorrhiza formation in subterranean clover by increasing plant P status and not by direct effects of soil P on v.a.m. endophytes. Localized placements of superphosphate by banding or topdressing did not affect the development of mycorrhizas of roots in the fertilized zones differently from those of roots not in fertilized zones. The amount of infection was not correlated with P concentrations within the plant at harvest. However, the extent of infection could be correlated with P concentrations of roots at early stages of penetration by the fungi. Additionally, the effects of P supply on frequency of penetration by hyphae and subsequent mycorrhiza development closely paralleled effects of P supply on soluble carbohydrate concentrations in roots.