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Growth response ofTheobroma cacao L. seeldings to inoculation with vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi


The effects of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM) on the growth and phosphorus uptake of cocoa seedlings (Theobroma cacao L.) grown for 100 days in polythene bags, were studied at five levels of phosphorus fertilization in both steamed and unsterile Bungor Series soil (a fine clayey, kaolinitic isohyperthermic Typic Paleudult).

The cocoa seedlings responded well to phosphorus fertilization and mycorrhizal treatments. Plants inoculated with VAM fungi (Gigaspora spp.) gave the most vigorous growth and higher phosphorus in the leaf tissues in unsterile soil compared to plants grown in steamed soil. However, the mycorrhizal effect was significantly more pronounced (P<0.01) in plants grown in steamed than in unsterile soil. High levels of phosphorus application depressed mycorrhizal development. Phosphorus fertilizer applied at the rates of 250 and 500 ug g−1 soil gave maximum root colonization and spore counts in both soil types used.

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Chulan (Hashim), A., Ragu, P. Growth response ofTheobroma cacao L. seeldings to inoculation with vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Plant Soil 96, 279–285 (1986).

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Key words

  • Mycorrhiza
  • Phosphorus
  • Plant growth
  • Theobroma cacao