, Volume 84, Issue 1, pp 82-92

Role of mycorrhizal infection in the growth and reproduction of wild vs. cultivated plants

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An experiment was conducted to determine whether wild accessions and cultivars ofLycopersicon esculentum Mill. differed in inherent morphological, physiological or phenological traits and whether such differences would result in variation in response to vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal infection. While distinctions between wild accessions and cultivars were apparent (the cultivars generally had higher phosphorus use efficiencies and shorter lifespans than the wild accessions) and the cultivars were, as a group, more responsive to mycorrhizal infection than the wild accessions, there was significant variation among wild accessions and among cultivars in response to infection. Regardless of cultivation status, non-mycorrhizal plant root density was significantly negatively correlated with response to infection. Phosphorus use efficiency was generally not significantly correlated with response to infection. Mycorrhizal infection decreased phosphorus use efficiency in all accessions, but had variable effects on root density, depending upon accession and time. Finally, the vegetative response was not necessarily of the same magnitude as the reproductive response.