Plant and Soil

, Volume 196, Issue 1, pp 143–149 | Cite as

Hydroponic culture of the mycorrhizal fungus Glomus mosseae with Linum usitatissimum L., Sorghum bicolor L. and Triticum aestivum L.

  • H.-J. Hawkins
  • E. George


Linum usitatissimum, Sorghum bicolor and Triticum aestivum plants were further colonised by the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, Glomus mosseae, during a four week period of hydroponic culture after a pre-culture period of three weeks with the fungus in perlite substrate. The viability of mycorrhizal colonisation of T. aestivum was indicated by an initial experiment where G. mosseae from mycorrhizal plants colonised non-mycorrhizal plants when the plants were grown together in the same hydroponic container using modified Long Ashton nutrient solution. Intermittant aeration of the plant roots (2 h periods, four times per day) provided a compromise between adequate aeration and minimal disturbance of the fungus. In a second experiment, two nutrient media, modified Long Ashton and modified Knop plus Hoagland medium were compared for culturing G. mosseae on T. aestivum. A significantly higher root dry weight was found for the mycorrhizal versus the non-mycorrhizal wheat plants in modified Long Ashton nutrient medium, which contained 10 µM P and an organic buffer. Modified Knop plus Hoagland nutrient medium contained a high P concentration (0.9 mM) and did not produce viable cultures of mycorrhizal colonisation. In a third experiment, modified Long Ashton medium was used for hydroponic culture of mycorrhizal L. usitatissimum, S. bicolor and T. aestivum. The root colonisation percentages for T. aestivum (73%), S. bicolor (36%) and L. usitatissimum (65%) were within the range of colonisation rates obtained with solid substrate culture in perlite. Viability of the mycorrhizal structures in hydroponic culture was assessed by monitoring activity of fungal succinate dehydrogenase and found to be similar to cultures in perlite. No difference in the P concentration of mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants was observed, possibly owing to the lack of diffusion limits for P in hydroponic solution. This report describes a system for the viable culture of G. mosseae with different plant species where a high mycorrhizal colonisation rate was produced under conditions of a short culture period using intermittent aeration, a low concentration of P supply and an organic buffer.

arbuscular mycorrhiza hydroponics linseed sorghum wheat 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • H.-J. Hawkins
    • 1
  • E. George
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Plant Nutrition (330)Hohenheim UniversityStuttgartGermany

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