, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 214-218

Arbuscular-mycorrhizal inoculation of five tropical fodder crops and inoculum production in marginal soil amended with organic matter

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Five fodder crops, Zea mays, Medicago sativa, Trifolium alexandrinum, Avena sativa, and Sorghum vulgare were inoculated with a consortia of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in non-sterile PO4 3– deficient sandy loam soil amended with organic matter under field conditions. Shoot and root dry weights and total uptake of P and N of all the test plants were significantly increased by AM inoculation. Mycorrhizal inoculation increased yield in terms of shoot dry weight by 257% in T. alexandrinum followed by 50% in A. sativa, 28% in Z. mays, 20% in M. sativa and 6% in S. vulgare. Variation in dependence on mycorrhiza was observed among the fodder crops. T. alexandrinum showed a maximum dependence of 72% in contrast to 5.7% dependency in S. vulgare. Plant species showed differences in percentage AM colonization, with a high root infection recorded in Z. mays (76%). Spore production and infectious propagules (IP) were as high as 78 spores/IP g–1 and 103 spores/IP g–1 in S. vulgare. This study clearly indicates the potential of using indigenous AM inoculations in fodder crops grown in marginal soils along with in situ large-scale production of AM inocula.

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