Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant growth-promoting pseudomonads improve yield, quality and nutritional value of tomato: a field study

Abstract

The aim of this work was to assess the effects of plant-beneficial microorganisms (two Pseudomonas strains and a mixed mycorrhizal inoculum, alone or in combination) on the quality of tomato fruits of plants grown in the field and subjected to reduced fertilization. Pseudomonas strain 19Fv1T was newly characterized during this study. The size and quality of the fruits (concentration of sugars, organic acids and vitamin C) were assessed. The microorganisms positively affected the flower and fruit production and the concentrations of sugars and vitamins in the tomato fruits. In particular, the most important effect induced by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi was an improvement of citric acid concentration, while bacteria positively modulated sugar production and the sweetness of the tomatoes. The novelty of the present work is the application of soil microorganisms in the field, in a real industrial tomato farm. This approach provided direct information about the application of inocula, allowed the reduction of chemical inputs and positively influenced tomato quality.

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Acknowledgments

This research was funded by the Regione Piemonte, within the programme POR-FESR 2007–2013—Project title: “Realizzazione di un sistema integrato innovativo di tecnologie di campo, hardware e software per l’ottimizzazione della gestione parametrizzata di nutrizione e irrigazione delle piante, sinergizzato al supporto eco-orientato delle coltivazioni con materiali biodegradabili e/o a completa metabolizzazione da parte della rizosfera” (Bi.R.S-OASIS).

The authors would thank Donata Vigani and Giuliano Bonelli for the help during the harvesting of tomato fruits and Patrizia Cesaro for the useful suggestions.

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Correspondence to Graziella Berta.

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ESM 1

Fig 1 Supplementary Material. Experimental workflow: A) Greenhouse tomato plantlets production (tomato seeds were germinated in alveolar boxes on sterilized soil and grown in greenhouse for three weeks before transplanting. Myc, Myc + 19Fv1T, Myc + C7 plantlets, were inoculated with 20 ml of mycorrhizal inoculum in the alveolar boxes); B) Plantlets inoculation of bacterial strains: 19Fv1T, C7, Myc + 19Fv1T, Myc + C7. Plantlets of CFD, CRD and Myc (without bacterial inoculum) were treated with the same buffer used for the bacterial inoculum preparation; C, D, E) In field transplanting of tomato plantlets and irrigation setup. (TIFF 11426 kb)

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Bona, E., Cantamessa, S., Massa, N. et al. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant growth-promoting pseudomonads improve yield, quality and nutritional value of tomato: a field study. Mycorrhiza 27, 1–11 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00572-016-0727-y

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Keywords

  • Tomato
  • PGPB
  • Pseudomonads
  • Arbuscular mycorrhizae
  • Fertilization
  • Fruit quality