The effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on olive (Olea europaea) growth and development was followed for 4 years after transplanting in irrigated commercial orchards under arid conditions. Sites I and II were irrigated with saline water (EC = 4.5 dS/m). In site I, the soil was infested with Verticillium dahliae and olive varieties ‘Picual’ (Verticillium susceptible) and ‘Barnea’ (relatively Verticillium tolerant) were tested. In site II, the soil was virgin soil (previously non-cultivated soil) and olive varieties ‘Souri’ and ‘Barnea’ were tested. Plants for all sites were inoculated in the nursery with Glomus intraradices alone or in a mixture with G. mosseae. Relative to non-inoculated trees, AMF colonization enhanced vegetative growth, expressed as tree height and trunk circumference, at all sites. At first commercial harvest, AMF-treated trees had higher fruit and oil yields than non-mycorrhitic controls. Under saline water irrigation, differences between inoculated and non-inoculated treatments were reduced in the slow-growing ‘Souri’ but remained apparent in the modern fast-growing ‘Barnea’. AMF colonization did not appear to improve tolerance of either ‘Picual’ or ‘Barnea’ to V. dahliae, and both were more susceptible than the non-inoculated controls. Thus inoculation of olive plants with AMF improves transplant growth and adaptation in arid areas during the first 3 years of growth and until the first commercial harvesting season.
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The authors thank the growers—Yzhar Tugendhaft, Nili Bar On and Nimrod Priel from Bar BaNegev olive farm and Nizan Shatzkin and Benni Swissa from Nizanei Paamonit olive farm, for their contribution to this study. We would also like to thank Rahan Meristem (1998) Ltd. for providing the olive plantlets.
The paper is part of the special issue ‘The Potential of exploiting Mycorrhizal associations in semi arid regions’.
Electronic Supplementary Material
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Effect of mycorrhizal inoculation with G. intraradices (Gi) or a mixture of G. intraradices and G. mosseae (Gi+Gm) on [S-1] Picual and [S-2] Barnea growth (height) and [S-3] Picual and [S-4] Barnea growth (trunk circumference), Exp. I, Revivim. Values are means of 5 replicates, subjected to one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and separated at each date of sampling (different letters) by Student multiple range test (P = 0.05). (DOC 54 kb)
Effect of mycorrhizal inoculation with G. intraradices (Gi) or a mixture of G. intraradices and G. mosseae (Gi+Gm) in comparison to non-inoculated controls with fertilization in the month after transplanting (non-inoc.+F) or without (non-inoc.-F) on [S-5] Souri and [S-6] Barnea growth (height) and [S-7] Souri and [S-8] Barnea growth (trunk circumference), Exp. II, Be’er Hail. Values are means of 4 replicates, subjected to one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and separated at each date of sampling (different letters) by Student multiple range test (P = 0.05). (DOC 69 kb)
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Kapulnik, Y., Tsror (Lahkim), L., Zipori, I. et al. Effect of AMF application on growth, productivity and susceptibility to Verticillium wilt of olives grown under desert conditions. Symbiosis 52, 103–111 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13199-010-0085-z