[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi is a potentially useful tool in agricultural systems with limited options regarding use of synthetic chemicals for fertility and pest control. We tested the response of Allium porrum cv. Lancelot to inoculation with AM fungi in a field high in available P (169 μg g−1 soil) that had been repeatedly cultivated to control weeds. Seedlings were inoculated during the greenhouse production period with a mixed species inoculum produced on-farm in a compost and vermiculite medium with Paspalum notatum Flugge as a nurse host. Inoculated and uninoculated seedlings were the same size at outplanting. Inoculated seedlings were over 2.5-fold greater in shoot weight and shoot P content than uninoculated seedlings at harvest. These results demonstrate the potential yield benefits from inoculation with AM fungi in situations where farm management practices may negatively impact on indigenous populations of AM fungi.
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 12/2012; 27(04). DOI:10.1017/S1742170511000391 · 1.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inoculation of plants with arbuscular mycorrhizal [AM] fungi has the potential to increase or maintain yields and allow for reduced fertilizer and pesticide application, thereby enhancing agricultural sustainability. Strawberry plants (Fragaria x ananassa Duch. cv. Chandler) were inoculated prior to outplanting with a mixed species inoculum of AM fungi. The inoculum was produced on-the-farm in 2003 in a mixture of compost and vermiculite with bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge) as host plants. Plants were outplanted into raised black plastic beds on 30 June 2004 and harvested 6–25 June 2005. Inoculation with AM fungi increased yield 17% over uninoculated controls, 5.5 vs. 4.7 kg per ten plant sampling unit, respectively. Inoculation had no significant effect on whole season mean fruit weight, indicating an average increase of 3.6 fruit per plant for inoculated plants over uninoculated plants. Utilization of AM fungus inoculum produced on-farm as an amendment to horticultural potting media for the production of seedlings later outplanted has the potential for significant increases in crop yields.