THE INFLUENCE OF ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL COLONIZATION ON THE GROWTH PARAMETERS OF CAPE GOOSEBERRY (Physalisperuviana L.) PLANTS GROWN IN A SALINE SOIL
Journal of soil science and plant nutrition
With the objective of determining whether arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonization would alleviate salt stress on the growth of cape gooseberry plants, a saline soil (ECs of 5.65 dS m -1 , available phosphorous of 48.1 mg kg -1 ) was inoculated with AM fungi (Mycoral®) (+AM) and compared to a non-inoculated saline soil (-AM). The openfield experiment was conducted over the course of 131 days on the Marengo farm of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (near Bogotá, 4º42' N, 74º12' W, 2543 m
... º12' W, 2543 m a.s.l., 14ºC mean temperature, and 800 mm a -1 precipitation) where the plants were irrigated with water (ECs of 1.65 dS m -1 ) from the salt-contaminated Bogota river. Mycorrhizal dependence, AM colonization, relative field mycorrhizal dependency (RFMD 100 ), dry matter (DM) accumulation and growth parameters (unit leaf rate [ULR], leaf area ratio [LAR] and specific leaf area [SLA]) were determined. The percentage of AMcolonization was 29.7% in +AM plants, but only 12.5% in -AM plants. The RFMD 100 index peaked at day 61 (42.5%) and decreased to 7.8% by day 89. Inoculation with AM fungi increased plant dry matter accumulation by 7%, especially stem DM, compared to -AM plants. Generally, growth rates were higher in the +AM plants; ULR increased more in the second half of the experiment in inoculated plants compared to noninoculated. The mycorrhizal infection enhanced leaf area growth, which resulted in increased LAR and SLA, especially during the initial phases of the experiment.