Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Effects of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae on growth and phosphorus and zinc nutrition of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) in an Oxisol from subtropical Australia

  • 89 Accesses

  • 19 Citations


Peanut plants (cv. Shulamit) were grown in an Oxisol soil in pots in the glasshouse to assess effects of soil sterilization and inoculation with spores of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (VAMF) on the response to five rates of phosphorus (0 to 240 kg P ha−1) and two rates of zinc (0 and 10 kg Zn ha−1) fertilizers.

Both P and Zn nutrition were affected by VAMF activity but the dominant role of VAMF in this soil type was in uptake of P. In the absence of VAMF there was a clear threshold level of P application (60 kg P ha−1) below which plants grew poorly, which resulted in a sigmoidal response of dry matter to applied P. The maximum response was not fully defined because dry matter production continued to increase up to 240 kg P ha−1. Tissue P concentration of non-mycorrhizal plants increased linearly with P rate and was always significantly less than that in mycorrhizal plants.

Mycorrhizal plants responded without threshold to increasing P rate, attaining maximum dry matter at 120 kg P ha−1 in inoculated sterilized soil and at 30 kg P ha−1 in nonsterile soil. These differences in maximal P rates and in the greater dry matter produced in sterile soil at high P rates were attributed to the negative effects of the root-knot nematodeMeloidogyne hapla in nonsterile soil.

Plant weight did not respond to zinc fertilizer but tissue Zn concentration increased with applied Zn. Tissue Zn concentration and uptake were increased by VAMF.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Abbot L K and Robson A D 1984 The effect of VA mycorrhizae on plant growth.In VA Mycorrhiza. Eds. C L Powell and D J Bagyaraj, pp 113–130. CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, Florida.

  2. Anon. 1975 Soil Taxonomy: A Basic System of Soil Classification for Making and Interpreting Soil Surveys. USDA Agric. Handbook No. 436. (Govt. Printer, Washington D.C.)

  3. Bagyaraj D J 1984 Biological interactions with VA mycorrhizal fungi.In VA Mycorrhiza. Eds. C L Powell and D J Bagyaraj. pp 131–153. CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, Florida.

  4. Baylis G T S 1970 Root-hairs and Phycomycetous mycorrhizas in P-deficient soils. Plant and Soil 33, 713–716.

  5. Bolan N S, Robson A D and Barrow N J 1983 Plant and soil factors including mycorrhizal infection causing sigmoidal response of plants to applied phosphorus. Plant and Soil 73, 187–201.

  6. Bolan N S, Robson A D and Barrow N J 1984 Increasing phosphorus supply can increase the infection of plant roots by vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Soil Biol. Biochem. 16, 419–420.

  7. Cooper K M 1984 Physiology of VA mycorrhizal associations.In VA Mycorrhiza. Eds. C L Powell and D J Bagyaraj. pp 155–186. CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, Florida.

  8. Dehne H W 1982 Interaction between vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant pathogens. Phytopathol. 72, 1115–1119.

  9. Giovanetti M and Mosse B 1980 An evaluation of techniques for measuring vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal infection in roots. New Phytol. 84, 489–500.

  10. Hayman D S and Mosse B 1971 Plant growth responses to vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza. I. Growth of Endogone-inoculated plants in phosphate-deficient soils. New Phytol. 71, 41–47.

  11. Hooper D J 1970 Extraction of nematodes from plant material.In Laboratory Methods for Working With Plant and Soil Nematodes. Ed. J F Southey. 148 pp. Tech. Bull. 2., Min. Agric., Fish. and Food, H.M. Stat. Office, London.

  12. Hussey R S and Roncadori R W 1982 Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae may limit nematode activity and improve plant growth. Plant Dis. 66, 9.

  13. Krishna K R and Bagyaraj D J 1982 Influence of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza on growth and nutrition ofArachis hypogaea. Legume Res. 5, 18–22.

  14. Krishna K R and Bajyaraj R W 1984 Growth and nutrient uptake of peanut inoculated with the mycorrhizal fungusGlomus fasciculatum compared with non-inoculated ones. Plant and Soil 77, 405–408.

  15. Middleton K J, Bell M J and Thompson J P 1989 Effects of soil sterilization, inoculation with vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and cropping history on peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) growth in an Oxisol from subtropical Australia. Plant and Soil 117, 41–48.

  16. Parvathi K, Venkateswarlu K and Rao A S 1985 Response of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) to combined inoculation withGlomus mosseae andRhizobium sp. Proc., Indian Acad. Sci. (Plant Sci.) 95, 35–40.

  17. Plenchette C, Fortin J A and Furlan V 1983 Growth responses of several plant species to mycorrhizae in a soil of moderate P-fertility. I. Mycorrhizal dependency under field conditions. Plant and Soil 70, 199–209.

  18. Thompson J P 1987 Decline of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae in long fallow disorder of field crops and its expression in phosphorus deficiency of sunflower. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 38, 847–867.

  19. Thompson J P, Clewett T G, Fiske M and Lister P 1986 Mycorrhizae research. Biennial Rep. Qld. Wheat Res. Inst. 1982–1984, pp 35–36.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bell, M.J., Middleton, K.J. & Thompson, J.P. Effects of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae on growth and phosphorus and zinc nutrition of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) in an Oxisol from subtropical Australia. Plant Soil 117, 49–57 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02206256

Download citation

Key words

  • growth
  • nutrition
  • peanuts
  • phosphorus
  • VA mycorrhizae
  • zinc