Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) Fungal Isolates Differentially Altered Morphology of Young `Volkamer' Lemon Plants under Well-watered Conditions

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  • 1 Dept. of Botany, Arizona State Univ., P.O. Box 871601, Tempe, AZ 85287-1601

Four AM fungal isolates (Glomus sp.) were screened for effects on growth of `Volkamer' lemon (Citrus volkameriana Ten. and Pasq.) under well-watered conditions. Plants were inoculated with an isolate of AM fungi, or non-inoculated. Non-mycorrhizal plants received more phosphorus (P) fertilizer than mycorrhizal plants because mycorrhizae enhance P uptake. Mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants were grown in 8-liter containers for 3 months in a glasshouse. Plants were then harvested, and root length colonized by mycorrhizal fungi, leaf P concentration, and plant growth were determined. Root length colonized by AM fungi differed among isolates; control plants were non-mycorrhizal. Leaf P concentration was in the optimal range for all plants; however, plants colonized by Glomus mosseae Isolate 51C had higher leaf P concentration than non-mycorrhizal plants. Plants colonized by Glomus AZ112 had higher leaf P concentration than all other plants. All plants had similar canopy leaf area, shoot length, and shoot dry mass. Plants colonized with AM fungi, except Glomus mosseae Isolate 51C, had longer root length and greater root dry mass than non-mycorrhizal plants. All mycorrhizal plants had lower shoot:root dry mass and leaf area:root length ratios than non-mycorrhizal plants. Our results showed that under optimal P nutrition and well-watered conditions, AM fungal isolates differentially altered the morphology of citrus plants by stimulating root growth.

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