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Influence of Glomus–Rhizobium Symbiosis on Productivity, Root Morphology and Soil Fertility in Garden Pea in Himalayan Acid Alfisol

Bai, Bengia, Suri, Vinod K., Kumar, Anil, Choudhary, Anil K.
Communications in soil science and plant analysis 2016 v.47 no.6 pp. 787-798
Alfisols, Pisum sativum subsp. sativum var. sativum, Rhizobium, copper, field experimentation, iron, manganese, mycorrhizal fungi, nitrogen, nitrogen fertilizers, peas, phosphorus, potassium, root nodules, root systems, seeds, soil fertility, soil morphology, soil organic carbon, symbionts, symbiosis, zinc, India
The influence of dual inoculation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and Rhizobium was assessed on garden pea productivity, root morphology and soil fertility during 2011–2012 at Palampur, India, in a medium phosphorus (P) acid Alfisol. Field experimentation comprised 13 treatments involving Rhizobium, AMF and inorganic fertilizers in (RBD) replicated thrice. The dual inoculation of Rhizobium and AMF exhibited nominal effect on pea pod length, pod girth and number of seeds per pod. However, average pod weight (APW) and productivity increased by 14.1 and 20% following dual inoculation, respectively, over generalized recommended nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) dose general recommended dose (GRD). Dual inoculation of pea seed with both symbionts sharply increased the root volume (RV), root dry weight (RDW), root weight density (RWD) and root nodules per plant by 34.5, 13.3, 13 and 44%, respectively. Similarly, the highest AMF root colonization was registered under dual-inoculated plots compared to sole application of Rhizobium or AMF. Different treatments including dual-inoculated ones did not alter the soil organic carbon (SOC), available N, K and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA)-extractable micronutrients iron, zinc, copper and manganese (Fe, Zn, Cu and Mn) status significantly; however, a nominal buildup in the above-mentioned parameters was registered under dual inoculation. Available P status increased to the tune of 6.7 and 8.7% following dual inoculation with Rhizobium and AMF over their respective sole inoculations. Overall, the current study suggests that Glomus–Rhizobium symbiosis has great potential in enhancing productivity through better proliferation of the root system and improved soil fertility status. Furthermore, dual inoculation of AMF and Rhizobium can save up to 25% fertilizer N and P in garden pea in acid Alfisol of the northwestern Himalayas (NWH).