, Volume 223, Issue 1-2, pp 177-186

Effect of the saprophytic fungus Fusarium oxysporum on arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization and growth of plants in greenhouse and field trials

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Abstract

Effects of the saprophytic fungus Fusarium oxysporum on arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonization and plant dry matter were studied in greenhouse and field experiments. Host plants: maize (Zea mays L.), sorghum (Sorghum vulgare L.), lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum L.), wheat (Triticum vulgare L), lentil (Ervum lens L.) and pea (Pisum sativum L.), the AM fungi: Glomus mosseae, G. fasciculatum, G. intraradices, G. clarum, and G. deserticola and the carriers for F. oxysporum inoculum: aqueous solution, thin agar slices, and pellets of agar and alginate were tested under greenhouse conditions. Greatest plant growth and AM colonization responses in sterilized and unsterilized soils were observed with pea, Glomus deserticola and sodium alginate pellets as the carrier for F. oxysporum inoculum. Under field conditions, adding F. oxysporum increased the survival of transplanted pea, possibly through a beneficial effect on AM fungi. Application of F. oxysporum increased shoot dry matter, N and P concentrations of pea and sorghum plants, and the level of AM colonization attained by indigenous or introduced AM fungi. These parameters were similar in plants inoculated with either G. deserticola or with the indigenous AM fungi. Application of the saprophytic fungus increased the number of propagules of AM fungi in field plots in which pea was grown, but this increase was not sufficient to increase AM colonization of sorghum after the pea crop.