Microbial Ecology

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 306–313 | Cite as

Trichoderma harzianum Rifai 1295-22 Mediates Growth Promotion of Crack Willow (Salix fragilis) Saplings in Both Clean and Metal-Contaminated Soil

Article

Abstract

We investigated if the plant growth promoting fungus Trichoderma harzianum Rifai 1295-22 (also known as “T22”) could be used to enhance the establishment and growth of crack willow (Salix fragilis) in a soil containing no organic or metal pollutants and in a metal-contaminated soil by comparing this fungus with noninoculated controls and an ectomycorrhizal formulation commercially used to enhance the establishment of tree saplings. Crack willow saplings were grown in a temperature-controlled growth room over a period of 5 weeks’ in a garden center topsoil and over 12 weeks in a soil which had been used for disposal of building materials and sewage sludge containing elevated levels of heavy metals including cadmium (30 mg kg−1), lead (350 mg kg−1), manganese (210 mg kg−1), nickel (210 mg kg−1), and zinc (1,100 mg kg−1). After 5 weeks’ growth in clean soil, saplings grown with T. harzianum T22 produced shoots and roots that were 40% longer than those of the controls and shoots that were 20% longer than those of saplings grown with ectomycorrhiza (ECM). T. harzianum T22 saplings produced more than double the dry biomass of controls and more than 50% extra biomass than the ECM-treated saplings. After 12 weeks’ growth, saplings grown with T. harzianum T22 in the metal-contaminated soil produced 39% more dry weight biomass and were 16% taller than the noninoculated controls. This is the first report of tree growth stimulation by application of Trichoderma to roots, and is especially important as willow is a major source of wood fuel in the quest for renewable energy. These results also suggest willow trees inoculated with T. harzianum T22 could be used to increase the rate of revegetation and phytostabilization of metal-contaminated sites, a property of the fungus never previously demonstrated.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Adams
    • 1
  • F. A. A. M. De-Leij
    • 1
  • J. M. Lynch
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Biomedical and Molecular SciencesUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK
  2. 2.Forest ResearchFarnhamUK

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