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