Mycorrhiza

, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 323–330

The role of seed reserves in arbuscular mycorrhizal formation and growth of Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit. and Zea mays L.

  • T. Muthukumar
  • K. Udaiyan
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

We show here that seed reserves in Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit. and Zea mays L. (maize) are important for mycorrhizal formation and seedling growth. Seed reserve removal reduced mycorrhizal formation markedly in Leucaena but not in maize, except at 15 and 45 days after seed reserve removal. Partial or total removal of seed reserves decreased plant growth and tissue nutrient concentrations in both hosts. Nodule number in Leucaena, which was related positively to plant biomass and mycorrhizal infection levels, was reduced when one or both cotyledons were severed. Leucaena seedlings without or with partial seed reserves had higher nutrient use efficiencies throughout seedling growth. But such an effect was observed only initially in maize. Seed reserve removal increased the specific absorption rates of nutrients in both hosts. Phosphorus absorption rate was significantly and positively related to root infection levels in both Leuceana and maize. Though the growth rates of plants without seed reserves were low initially, these plants had higher growth rates during later stages. We conclude that seed reserves are not only important for seedling growth, but also for mycorrhizal formation and nodulation.

Key words Arbuscular mycorrhiza Cotyledon Leucaena Maize Nodulation Seed reserves 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Muthukumar
    • 1
  • K. Udaiyan
    • 1
  1. 1.Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Botany, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore-641 046, Tamil Nadu, India e-mail : tmkum@yahoo.com Fax: +091-422-422387IN

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