The Effect of Aluminum and Media on the Growth of Mycorrhizal and Nonmycorrhizal Highbush Blueberry Plantlets

in HortScience

A factorial experiment was conducted to determine the effect of aluminum (0 and 600 μM) and media (sand, and 1:1 sand:soil) on mycorrhizal (M) and non-mycorrhizal (NM) highbush blueberry plantlets. There were no differences in nutrient uptake and total plant dry weight between M and NM plantlets. However, more root growth, as determined by dry weight, was observed in M than NM plantlets. The plantlets growing in sand had more dry weight than did those in the soil medium. Although the root growth and shoot growth were reduced by the 600-μM Al treatment, the direct effect of Al on plantlet growth was not clear due to Al and P interactions. Plant nutrient uptake was reduced by high concentrations of Al, suggesting that high Al concentration limited the ability of roots to acquire most of the nutrients. Mycorrhizal epidermal cell infection levels of 15% to 20% were maintained in the roots in soil medium but decreased to about 5% over the 6 weeks of the experiment in the sand medium. Although M plantlets accumulated more Al in their roots, Al was readily transported to the leaf tissues of M and NM plantlets.

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