Impact of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal inoculants on subsequent arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonization in pot-cultured field pea (Pisum sativum L.).Mycorrhiza. 2013 Jan; 23(1):45-59.M
The use of commercial inoculants containing non-resident arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is an emerging technology in field crop production in Canada. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of AMF inoculants containing either a single species (Glomus irregulare) or mixed species (G. irregulare, Glomus mosseae, and Glomus clarum) on AMF root colonization and consequent plant growth parameters of field pea grown using pot cultures. Field pea was grown in both sterilized and non-sterile (i.e., natural) field-collected soil containing resident AMF and received three inoculation treatments: uninoculated control, G. irregulare only, and a mixture of AMF species of G. irregulare, G. mosseae, and G. clarum. After 42 days, the AMF community assembled in field pea roots was assessed by cloning and sequencing analysis on the LSU-ITS-SSU rDNA gene, together with a microscopic assessment of colonization, biomass production, nutrient uptake, and N(2) fixation. The identity of AMF inoculants had a significant effect on field pea performance. The mixed species AMF inoculant performed better than the single species G. irregulare alone by promoting mycorrhizal colonization, field pea biomass, N and P uptake, and N(2) fixation and did not result in a significant compositional change of the AMF community that subsequently assembled in field pea roots. In contrast, the single species G. irregulare inoculant did not significantly enhance field pea biomass, N and P uptake, and N(2) fixation, although a significant compositional change of the subsequent AMF community was observed. No significant interactions affecting these measurements were detected between the resident AMF and the introduced AMF inoculants. The observation that the mixed species AMF inoculant promoted plant growth parameters without necessarily affecting the subsequent AMF community may have important implications regarding the use of non-resident AMF inoculants in agricultural production.