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Influence of mycorrhizal fungi on growth, chlorophyll content, and potassium and magnesium uptake in maize

Zare-Maivan, Hassan, Khanpour-Ardestani, Narges, Ghanati, Faezeh
Journal of plant nutrition 2017 v.40 no.14 pp. 2026-2032
Glomus, chlorophyll, corn, host plants, magnesium, mycorrhizal fungi, nutrition, pot culture, potassium, roots, seedlings, shoots, soil, soil sterilization, spores, vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae
Mycorrhizal fungi affect growth and nutrition of host plants positively. In this research, influence of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM) ongrowth, chlorophyll content, and potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg) uptake in maize seedlings in pot culture was studied. This experiment was performed using natural soil containing a mixture of spores of Glomus spp. Mycorrhizal spores were exposed to four concentrations of K solution, i.e. 0.61 (soil K content), 0.92, and 1.23 meq/L and three concentrations of Mg, i.e. 4.8 (soil Mg content), 7.2, and 9.6 meq/L concurrently. Plants were watered every 4 days for 16 days with 50 mL distilled water. A pot with sterilized soil was used as negative control. For study of mycorrhizal colonization, very thin manually prepared longitudinal sections of plant roots (>1 mm in diameter) were stained with lactophenol-cottonblue and examined microscopically. Percentage of mycorrhizal colonization was determined using the grid-line intersect method. Samples from root and shoot of maize were collected for further analysis. Results showed mycorrhizal plants had significantly higher dry and fresh weight and chlorophyll content than plants grown in sterilized soil (p ≤ 0.05). Treatments with concentrations of 7.2 meq/L of magnesium alone and in combination with 0.92 meq/L of potassium with7.2 meq/L of Mg had better effect on morphological characters (dry and fresh weight of root and shoot). Mycorrhizal colonization increased Mg uptake but decreased K uptake.