Short term effects of phosphorus and VA-mycorrhizal fungi on nutrition, growth and development of Capsicum annuum L.

by F.T. Davies, Jr, and R.G. Linderman

Seedlings of Capsicum annuum L cultivar ‘Early Bountiful’ were grown in containers of river sand inoculated or not with the VA-mycorrhizal (VAM) fungus Glomus deserticola (Trappe, Bloss & Menge). Long Ashton Nutrient Solution (LANS) were modified to supply P at 11, 22, or 44 mg ml-1. After 42 days, plants were evaluated for growth, development and leaf elemental content. Short term effects occurred with P and VAM treatment. Increasing P fertility enhanced fruit number, leaf area, shoot, fruit and root dry weight, and decreased leaf area ratio (LAR). VAM increased leaf area of plants fertilized with full strength LANS (44 mg ml-1 P). VAM generally increased leaf tissue B, but decreased Mo. Tissue K and N in VAM plants was not decreased, as it was in non-mycorrhizal plants with increasing P fertility. Increasing P fertility generally decreased tissue Cu and Zn and increased P levels. Mycorrhizal colonization (%toot length) and spores recovered per unit of soil were greater with plants fertilized with 11 than 44 mg ml-1 P levels.

Scientia Horticulturae, 45 (1991) 333-338, Elsevier Science Publishers B.V., Amsterdam