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Amelia Camprubí and Cinta Calvet

The selection of the most effective arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi for growth enhancement of citrus cultivars used as rootstocks was the first step toward development of an AM inoculation system in citrus nurseries in Spain. AM fungi were isolated from citrus nurseries and orchards in the major citrus-growing areas of eastern Spain. The most common AM fungi found in citrus soils belonged to Glomus species, and G. mosseae (Nicol. & Gerd.) Gerdemann & Trappe and G. intraradices Schenck & Smith were the AM fungi most frequently associated with citrus roots. The most effective fungus for growth enhancement of citrus rootstocks was G. intraradices. Significant differences in mycorrhizal dependency among rootstocks were confirmed. Sour orange (Citrus aurantium L.) and Cleopatra mandarin (C. reshni L.) were more dependent than Troyer citrange [C. sinensis (L.) Obs. × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.] and Swingle citrumelo (C. paradisi Macf. × P. trifoliata). Moreover, several inoculation systems for plant production were evaluated for their effectiveness in promoting root colonization of the rootstock cultivars.

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Cinta Calvet, Amèlia Camprubí, and Rodrigo Rodríguez-Kábana

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

Inoculum of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, with growing use in horticulture, is produced mainly in two technically different cultivation systems: in vivo culture in symbiosis with living host plants or in vitro culture in which the fungus life cycle develops in association with transformed roots. To evaluate the effectiveness and the infectivity of a defined isolate obtained by both production methods, a replicated comparative evaluation experiment was designed using different propagules of Rhizophagus irregularis produced in vivo on leek plants or in vitro in monoxenic culture on transformed carrot roots. The size of the spores obtained under both cultivation methods was first assessed and bulk inoculum, spores, sievings, and mycorrhizal root fragments were used to inoculate leek plantlets. Spores produced in vitro were significantly smaller than those produced in vivo. Although all mycorrhizal propagules used as a source of inoculum were able to colonize plants, in all cases, leek plants inoculated with propagules obtained in vivo achieved significantly higher mycorrhizal colonization rates than plants inoculated with in vitro inocula. Inoculation with in vivo bulk inoculum and in vivo mycorrhizal root fragments were the only treatments increasing plant growth. These results indicate that the production system of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi itself can have implications in the stimulation of plant growth and in experimental results.

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Victoria Estaún, Amelia Camprubí, Cinta Calvet, and Jorge Pinochet

This paper reports the effects of inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on early plant development, field establishment, and crop yield of the olive (Olea europaea L.) cultivar Arbequina. The response of olive plants to the fungi Glomus intraradices (Schenck and Smith) and G. mosseae (Nicol.& Gerd.) Gerdemann & Trappe in different potting mixes was studied in two different nursery experiments. Pre-inoculation with selected arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi prior to transplanting in the field improved plant growth and crop yield up to three years after inoculation. G. intraradices was more efficient at promoting plant growth than both G. mosseae and the native endophytes present in the orchard soil. Inoculation at the time of transplanting enhanced early plant growth in all the field situations studied. Diminishing mycorrhizal effects over time resulted from natural colonization of noninoculated seedlings and related to the native arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal population of the field soil. Early inoculation of olive seedlings enhances early plant development and crop productivity of olive trees.