Synergistic effects of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and diazotrophic bacteria on nutrition and growth of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas)
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- Paula, M.A., Urquiaga, S., Siqueira, J.O. et al. Biol Fertil Soils (1992) 14: 61. doi:10.1007/BF00336304
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Sweet potatoes were micropropagated and then transplanted from axnic conditions to fumigated soil in pots in the greenhouse. Spores of Glomus clarum were obtained from Brachiaria decumbens or from sweet potatoes grown in soil infected with this fungus and with an enrichment culture of Acetobacter diazotrophicus. Three experiments were carried out to measure the beneficial effects of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi-diazotroph interactions on growth, nutrition, and infection of sweet potato by A. diazotrophicus and other diazotrophs obtained from sweet potato roots. In two of these experiments the soils had been mixed with 15N-containing organic matter. The greatest effects of mycorrhizal inoculation were observed with co-inoculation of A. diazotrophicus and/or mixed cultures of diazotrophs containing A. diazotrophicus and Klebsiella sp. The tuber production was dependent on mycorrhization, and total N and P accumulation were increased when diazotrophs and G. clarum were applied together with VAM fungal spores. A. diazotrophicus infected aerial plant parts only when inoculated together with VAM fungi or when present within G. clarum spores. More pronounced effects on root colonization and intraradical sporulation of G. clarum were observed when A. diazotrophicus was co-inoculated. In non-fumigated soil, dual inoculation effects, however, were of lower magnitude. 15N analysis of the aerial parts and roots and tubers at the early growth stage (70 days) showed no statistical differences between treatments except for the VAM+Klebsiella sp. treatment. This indicates that the effects of A. diazotrophicus and other diazotrophs on sweet potato growth were caused by enhanced mycorrhization and, consequently, a more efficient assimilation of nutrients from the soil than by N2 fixation. The possible interactions between these effects are discussed.