Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) technology for the conservation of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn.: an endangered medicinal herb
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Curculigo orchioides Gaertn. (family Hypoxidaceae) is an endangered anticarcinogenic and aphrodisiac herb, native of India. This study reports the effect of three arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal inocula on post-transplanting performance of ‘in vitro’ raised C. orchioides plantlets. The three AM fungal inocula consisted of two monospecific cultures of Glomus geosporum and G. microcarpum and one crude consortium of AM fungal spores isolated from rhizosphere soil of C. orchioides growing in natural habitat. Complete plantlets of C. orchioides were raised by direct organogenesis of leaf explants on half strength Murashige and Skoog’s medium devoid of any growth hormone. C. orchioides plantlets responded significantly different to all three mycorrhizal treatments. Mycorrhization enhanced the survival rate of C. orchioides plantlets to 100%. The inoculated plantlets fared significantly better than the uninoculated ones in terms of biomass production and number of leaves and roots per plant. Mycorrhizal plantlets exhibited higher concentrations of photosynthetic pigments as well as minerals P, Mg, Cu, Zn, Mn and Fe in both shoots and roots. Among the three inocula tested, plantlets inoculated with the mixed consortium of AM fungi consistently performed better in terms of the parameters evaluated. The study suggests use of mixed consortium of AM fungi over monospecific cultures for the sustainable cultivation and conservation of endangered medicinal plant: Curculigo orchioides.
KeywordsGlomus geosporum Glomus microcarpum Medicinal plant Micropropagation Mixed consortium