Effects of single and mixed inoculation with two arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in two different levels of phosphorus supply on β-carotene concentrations in sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) tubers
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This study aimed to determine the effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and phosphorus (P) supply levels on β-carotene concentrations in sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) tubers.
Two commercial AM fungal isolates of Glomus intraradices (IFP Glintra) and Glomus mosseae (IFP Glm) which differ in their life cycles were used. Sweet potato plants were grown in a horizontal split-root system that consisted of two root compartments. A root-free fungal compartment that allowed the quantification of mycelial development was inserted into each root compartment. The two root compartments were inoculated either with the same or with different AM isolates, or remained free of mycorrhizal propagules. Each fungal treatment was carried out in two P supply levels.
In the low P supply level, mycorrhizal colonization significantly increased β-carotene concentrations in sweet potato tubers compared with the non-mycorrhizal plants. Glomus intraradices appeared to be more efficient in increasing β-carotene concentrations than G. mosseae. Dual inoculation of the root system with the two mycorrhizal fungi did not result in a higher increase in tuber β-carotene concentrations than inoculation with the single isolates. Improved P nutrition led to higher plant tuber biomass but was not associated with increased β-carotene concentrations.
The results indicate a remarkable potential of mycorrhizal fungi to improve β-carotene concentrations in sweet potato tubers in low P fertilized soils. These results also suggest that β-carotene metabolism in sweet potato tubers might be specifically activated by root mycorrhizal colonization.
Keywordsβ-carotene Glomus intraradices Glomus mosseae Phosphorus Sweet potato
This work was supported by China Scholarship Council. We appreciate technical assistance in laboratory work by Andrea Jankowsky, Susanne Jeserigk and Kerstin Bieler. We thank Dr. Michael H. Walter (Leibniz-Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Halle) for the helpful discussion.
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