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Francisco Roman-García, María Patricia Yahuaca-Mendoza, Javier Farias-Larios, J. Gerardo López-Aguirre*, Sergio Aguilar-Espinosa, and María del Rocío Flores-Bello

The contribution of arbuscular endomycorrhizal fungus (AMF) on hormonal levels increase in chili plants, at different steps is currently unknown. In this experiment was evaluated the effect of Glomus sp. Zac-19, G. etunicatum and G. intraradices, inoculation mirasol and ancho cultivars, under greenhouse conditions. Plants were growing in pots containing 1 kg of substrate (3 sand: 1 soil ratio). The effect was measured on fresh fruit production and indolacetic acid, giberellin GA3 and 6-aminopurine concentration. Also plant parameters measured were: plant height, foliar area, stem diameter, root length, aerial fresh weight, total fresh weight, fruit weight and mycorrhizal colonization. All treatments were imposed using 16 replications in a full random design. Results shown that mycorrhizal colonization average of the three fungus was 44% in mirasol cultivar y 42% in ancho cultivar. Mycorrhizal colonization had an effect on growth and development in both cultivars, expressed in a greater height, leaf number, foliar area, total fresh weigh and fruit mass. Was registered an increase of 80% in the yield in inoculated plants respecting to control. Indolacetic acid and gibberellins concentration in shoots, were bigger in plants colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF) than in control. The 6-aminopurine levels in roots of colonized plants by AMF shown higher values. These results suggest that AM fungi modify the hormonal concentration and some growth factors in chili plants.

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C.F. Scagel

We assessed whether addition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF) inoculum or rhizosphere organisms from AMF inoculum alters aspects of flowering, corm production, or corm quality of harlequin flower (Sparaxis tricolor) for two growth cycles after inoculation. Using pasteurized and nonpasteurized growth medium, plants were inoculated with either inoculum of the AMF, Glomus intraradices, or washings of the inoculum containing rhizobacteria. Shoots of plants inoculated with AMF emerged 2 days earlier than shoots on noninoculated plants or plants inoculated with inoculum washings. Flowers on AMF-inoculated plants opened 7-8 days earlier and plants produced more flowers per plant and per inflorescence than noninoculated plants. AMF-inoculated plants partitioned a higher proportion of biomass to cormel production than to daughter corms and had higher concentration and contents of zinc, sulfur, nitrogen, amino acids, and carbohydrates than corms from noninoculated plants. The rhizosphere organisms associated with the AMF inoculum influenced several measures of plant development, growth, and corm production suggesting that there are organisms associated with our AMF inoculum that have beneficial effects on the growth and productivity of harlequin flower. While inoculation with AMF can promote shoot emergence, leaf production, and flower production of harlequin flower, inoculation also alters aspects of biomass partitioning and corm composition that play an important role in the production of this crop for corms and cormels.

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C.F. Scagel

Hardwood cuttings of kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi `Massachusetts') were inoculated with three different types of inoculum of mycorrhizal fungi to determine whether addition of mycorrhizal inoculum into the rooting substrate during cutting propagation increases rooting or root growth, or alters the time for rooting. Cuttings, treated or untreated with rooting hormone prior to sticking into the rooting substrate, were inoculated with either inoculum of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF), hyphal inoculum of an arbutoid mycorrhizal fungus (E), or inoculum consisting of colonized root fragments of kinnikinnick (R). Cuttings were placed under mist in a greenhouse with no bottom heat and harvested 35, 56, and 84 days after sticking. Using AMF inoculum in the rooting substrate did not enhance rooting of cuttings, while adding the R or E inoculum to the rooting substrate increased root initiation compared to non-inoculated cuttings. Cuttings inoculated with either the R or E inoculum had greater root initiation than non-inoculated cuttings 56 and 84 days after sticking. When treated with rooting hormone, cuttings inoculated with the E or R inoculum had longer roots and a greater root biomass than non-inoculated cuttings. Mycorrhizal colonization of roots was similar or greater when cuttings were inoculated with the E inoculum than with the R inoculum and application of rooting hormone generally increased root colonization. The use of inoculum composed of root fragments from kinnikinnick during cutting propagation does not appear to be more beneficial than use of hyphal inoculum from a known arbutoid mycorrhizal fungus.

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Robert Augé and Ann Stodola

Using psychrometric pressure-volume analysis, root water relations following drought were characterized in Rosa hybrida L. plants colonized by the vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus intraradices Schenck & Smith. Measurements were also made on uncolonized plants of similar size and adequate phosphorus nutrition. Under well-watered conditions mycorrhizal colonization resulted in lower solute concentrations in root symplasm, and hence lower root turgors. Following drought, however, mycorrhizal roots maintained greater turgor across a range of tissue hydration. This effect was apparently not due to increased osmotic adjustment (full turgor osmotic potentials were similar in mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal roots after drought) or to altered elasticity but to an increased partitioning of water into the symplast. Symplast osmolality at full turgor was equivalent in mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal roots but because of higher symplastic water percentages mycorrhizal roots had greater absolute numbers of osmotic (symplastic) solutes. Drought-induced osmotic potential changes were observed only in mycorrhizal roots, where a 0.4 megapascal decrease (relative to well-watered controls) brought full turgor osmotic potential of mycorrhizae to the same level as nonmycorrhizal roots under either moisture treatment.

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C.F. Scagel, K. Reddy, and J.M. Armstrong

In a commercial nursery propagation system for hick's yew (Taxu×media `Hicksii'), we assessed whether or not the addition of inoculum of the vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (VAMF) Glomus intraradices into the rooting substrate during cutting propagation increased rooting, and how the quantity of inoculum influenced rooting. At 15 and 22 weeks (108 and 156 d) after cuttings were treated with root hormones and stuck, root initiation was higher on cuttings stuck in the rooting substrate containing VAMF inoculum. Increasing the quantity of inoculum in the rooting substrate increased root growth during the early stages of rooting. However the highest level of inoculum tested increased adventitious root initiation without increased root growth. Our results indicate that if VAMF inoculum is used during propagation from cuttings, there are optimal levels required to alter the initiation and growth of roots. For hick's yew, 1:100 or 2:100 (by volume) rates of G. intraradices in the rooting substrate increased the number of primary roots and growth of adventitious roots on cuttings above that achieved by using rooting hormone alone.

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Roger T. Koide, Lena L. Landherr, Ylva L. Besmer, Jamie M. Detweiler, and E. Jay Holcomb

We inoculated six common annual bedding plant species with the vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus intraradices Schenck & Smith using two fertilizer P concentrations (3 or 15 μg·mL-1) and three inoculation timings (inoculation at sowing, at transplanting, or at both times). The plant species used were: Salvia splendens F. Sellow ex Roem. & Schult. cv. Firecracker Rose; Impatiens walleriana Hook. f. cv. Sun and Shade Royal Red; Tagetes patula L. cv. Girls Golden; Petunia ×hybrida Hort. Vilm.-Andr. cv. Freedom Blue; Coleus ×hybridus Voss. cv. Jazz Salmon; and Viola ×wittrockiana Gams. cv. Majestic Giant White. In general, Coleus, Petunia, and Viola were colonized more than were Impatiens, Tagetes, and Salvia. Inoculation at sowing required less inoculum than either of the other methods. Moreover, it was generally as effective in promoting colonization as double inoculation, and was often more effective than inoculation at transplanting. Mycorrhizal colonization was significantly reduced by the higher P concentration. The use of Myconate®, a water-soluble form of the flavonoid formononetin, significantly stimulated colonization in Salvia.

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Mari Marutani, Joseph Tuquero, Robert Schlub, and James McConnell

The effects of a vesicular–arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, Glomus aggregatum inoculation were examined on growth of vegetable crops in pot culture and field experiments with Guam cobbly clay loam soil (clayey, gibbsitic, nonacid, isohyperthermic Lithic Ustorthents). In pot experiments, the growth response of yard-long beans (Vigna unguiculata subs. sesquipendalis), sweet corn (Zea mays), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), cucumber (Cucumis sativus), okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), green onion (Allium fistulosum), eggplant (Solanum melongena), and papaya (Carica papaya) were significantly improved with mycorrhizal inoculation. A pot experiment was also conducted to evaluate effects of G. aggregatum inoculation on the growth of corn seedlings at four different water regimes. Seedlings inoculated with G. aggregatum significantly improved the plant growth and the mineral uptake at all levels of water treatments. In the first field trial, prior to seed sowing the media in seedling trays were either inoculated or not inoculated with G. aggregatum. Treated watermelon and eggplant seedlings were transplanted in field. It was found that inoculating seedlings did not improve the harvest yield of two fruit-bearing crops. The second field experiment was conducted to study G. aggregatum inoculation and different levels of inorganic fertilizer application on growth of corn. Mycorrhizal colonization had positive effects on corn development and uptake of some minerals such as Fe. Experiments in the study suggested potential uses of a mycorrhizal fungus in an alkaline soil in the tropics.

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Martin Trépanier and Jacques-André Rioux

A commercial inoculum of Glomus intraradices Schenk and Smith, a vesicular–arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, has been used with the objective of studying its effects on rooting and on subsequent growth of two woody ornamental plants (Juniperus Sabina `Blue Danube' and Cornus sericea `Coloradensis'). This inoculum, called Mycorise™, is produced by Premier Peat Co. (Rivière-du-Loup, Québec, Canada) and it contains one propagule/g of Glomus intraradices. The cuttings's rooting media was mixed in order to contain 0%, 10%, 20%, 40%, or 80% of inoculum. Hardwood cuttings have been inserted in 65-ml cells and put under a mist until good rooting. For both species used, presence of inoculum in rooting media has not given significant effects during the rooting stage of cuttings, but has given some during the following stage of growth in 6-L containers. The growth of young mycorrhized plants of Juniperus was up to 50% greater than the control after the first season of growth. The young plants of Cornus have only showed a tendency to have a higher growth. Moreover, several mineral elements (N, P, Ca, Mn, Zn) were present at higher concentrations on mycorrhized plants. For roots colonization by the fungus and growth results, the inoculum proportion of the rooting media the most appropriate for Juniperus Sabina `Blue Danube', a slow-rooting species, was 40%, and the most appropriate for Cornus sericea `Coloradensis', a quick-rooting species, was 20%.

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Yun-Jeong Lee and Eckhard George

A nutrient film technique (NFT) culture system was developed to allow nursery production of arbuscular mycorrhizal horticultural crops. This would benefit horticultural production and allow for uncomplicated production of mycorrhizal hyphae. Roots of lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. capitata) plants were highly colonized by the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, Glomus mosseae (BEG 107) after 4 weeks in the NFT system, following an initial phase of five weeks in inoculated in Perlite substrate. In the NFT system, a thin layer of glass beads was used to provide solid support for plant and fungus growth and nutrient solution was supplied intermittently (15 min, six times per day). A modified nutrient solution (80 μm P) was used and was replaced with fresh solution every 3 days. A significantly higher dry weight was found for the mycorrhizal versus the nonmycorrhizal lettuce plants in Perlite during the precolonization period. The root colonization rate was also high at rates up to 80 μm P supply. On the NFT system, growth differences between mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal plants were less than in Perlite. However, root colonization rate was not reduced during the NFT culture period. In this system, high amounts of fungal biomass were produced. This would allow the determination of metal and other nutrient concentrations in fungal hyphae. Furthermore, we found large amounts of external fungal hyphae surrounding the root surface. As much as 130 mg fungal biomass were collected per culture plate (three plants). Therefore, we suggest that this modified NFT culture system would be suitable for fungal biomass production on a large scale with a view to additional aeration by intermittent nutrient supply, optimum P supply, and a use of glass beads as support materials. Furthermore, bulk inoculum composition with a mixture of spores, colonized roots, and hyphae grown in soilless media by the modified NFT system might be a useful way to mass-produce mycorrhizal crops and inoculum for commercial horticultural purposes.

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Cinta Calvet, Amelia Camprubi, Ana Pérez-Hernández, and Paulo Emilio Lovato

Bianciotto, V. Genre, A. Jargeat, P. Lumini, E. Bécard, G. Bonfante, P. 2004 Vertical transmission of endobacteria in the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Gigaspora margarita through generation of vegetative spores Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70 3600 3608