Distribution of three endangered medicinal plant species and their colonization with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

Journal of Arid Environments - J ARID ENVIRON 01/2006; 65(3):337-350. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2005.07.008

ABSTRACT A field study of 12 districts of arid zones of Rajasthan was undertaken to evaluate the occurrence of three selected endangered medicinal plant species (Leptadenia reticulata, Mitragyna parvifolia, Withania coagulans), and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) associations with them. Five genera were identified in the rhizosphere of these selected plant species. A high diversity of AMF was observed which varied between different host plant species. Among the five genera, Glomus occurred most frequently, with ten species, Acaulospora and Scutellospora were found with three species, respectively, while Gigaspora and Paraglomus were detected with one species each. Glomus constrictum, Glomus fasciculatum, Glomus geosporum, Glomus intraradices, Glomus mosseae and Glomus rubiforme were the most dominant species. The AMF spore density was not clearly affected by the host plant suggesting that biotic factors may be relatively less important than abiotic/edaphic factors for establishing population pattern. The spore density of AMF had a strong positive correlation with soil pH and organic carbon content and a negative correlation with Olsen's P content of the soil. The association with AMF of these plant species native to the harsh environmental conditions of the Indian Thar Desert may play a significant role in the re-establishment and conservation of these multipurpose endangered medicinal plants.

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    ABSTRACT: The yield parameters and cost economics of Withania somnifera were studied using Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) treatments. Withania somnifera is cultivated in around 10,780 ha with a production of 8429 tones in India. The annual demand of this herb increased from 7028 tones (2001-2002) to 9127 tones (2004-2005). The field experiment was conducted at the research farm of Department of Plant Physiology, College of Agriculture, Jabalpur during Kharif season of 2008-2009 (1st year) and 2009-2010 (2nd year), whereas the laboratory work was carried out in Quality Labo- ratory, College of Agriculture, Jabalpur. The soil of experimental field was sandy loam in texture with pH 7.5, EC 0.18 dsm−1 having good drainage. Soil analysis revealed that available nitrogen was low (202.0 kg·ha−1) whereas available phosphorus (16.25 kg·ha−1) and potassium (236.0 kg·ha−1) were in the medium range. The present paper shows how to determine the economics of varying INM treatments. Cultivation of W. somnifera in India is gaining popularity among farmers; however, due to poor soil fertility, and costly chemical fertilizers and pesticides its production is not economi- cal or profitable. Keywords: Withania somnifera; INM; Yield; Alkaloid; Economics
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    ABSTRACT: The status of the arbuscular mycorrhizal association in wild Agave potatorum Zucc. was studied at three semiarid sites over a 1-year period of rhizospheric soil sampling. Root colonization present at all sites and at all times of year, ranged from 20 to 83 %. The extraradical mycelia length was estimated to be from 2.64 to 5.22 m g−1 of dry soil. Spore number ranged from 20 to 192 in 100 g of soil. The number of viable mycorrhizal propagules ranged from 500 to 2,640 in 100 g of soil. Twenty species of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) were identified, the family Glomeracea comprising the greatest number of species (45 %). Two other fungi families Acaulosporaceae and Gigasporaceae made up 35 and 15 %, respectively. High alpha diversity and low beta diversity of AMF were found in this study. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi species richness in A. potatorum is high and the associated fungi appear to be an important component in semiarid ecosystems in this region of Mexico. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi species with small spores might be better adapted to the local environment.
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