Influence of phosphorus and endomycorrhiza (Glomus intraradices) on gas exchange and plant growth of chile ancho pepper (Capsicum annuum L. cv. Dan Luis)

by L. Aguilera-Gomez, F.T. Davies, Jr., V. Olalde-Portugal, S.A. Duray, and L. Phavaphutanon

Seedlings of chile ancho pepper were grown in pots containing a pasteurized mixture of sand and a low phosphorus (P) sandy loam soil, and either inoculated (VAM) or not inoculated (NVAM) with the endomycorrhizal fungus Glomus intraradices . Long Ashton nutrient solution (LANS) was modified to supply P to the seedlings at 0, 11, and 44 g(P) m-3 (P0, P11, P44, respectively). Low P depressed net photosynthetic rate (PN), stomatal conductance (gs), phosphorus use efficiency (PN/P), and internal CO2 concentration (CI). The mycorrhiza alleviated low P effects by increasing PN, gs, PN/P, and decreasing Ci. At P0, CI of NVAM plants was equal to or higher than that of VAM plants, suggesting nonstomatal inhibition of photosynthesis. Gas exchange of VAM plants at P0 was similar to that of NVAM plants at P11. Endomycorrhiza increased leaf number, leaf area, shoot, root and fruit mass at P0 and P11 compared to NVAM plants. Reproductive growth was enhanced by 245% in mycorrhizal plants at P44. Root colonization (arbuscules, vesicles, internal and extraradical hyphae development) was higher at lower P concentrations, while sporulation was unaffected. The enhanced growth and gas exchange of mycorrhizal plants was in part due to greater uptake of P and greater extraradical hyphae development.

Photosynthetica 36(3): 441-449, 1999