Mycorrhizal fungi enhancement of growth and gas exchange of micropropagated guava plantlets (Psidium guajava L.) during ex vitro acclimatization and plant establishment.

by A. A. Estrada-Luna, Fred T. Davies, Jr., and J.N. Egilla

The effect of mycorrhizal fungi on growth, nutrient uptake and gas exchange of micropropagated guava (Psidium guajava L.) plantlets was determined during acclimatization and plant establishment. Guava plantlets were asexually propagated through tissue culture and grown in a glasshouse for 18 weeks. Half of the plantlets were inoculated with a mixed endomycorrhiza isolate from Mexico. ZAC-19, containing Glomus diaphanum, G. albidum and G. claroides. Plantlets were fertilized with modified Long Ashton nutrient solution that supplied 11 micrometers P ml-1. Gas exchange measurements were taken at 2, 4, 8, and 18 weeks after inoculation using a portable photosynthesis system. All micropropagated guava plantlets survived transplant shock. After 6 weeks, mycorrhizal plantlets had greater shoot growth rates and leaf production than non-mycorrhizal plantlets. This also corresponded with increased photosynthetic rates and stomatal conductance of mycorrhizal plants. By 18 weeks, mycorrhizal plantlets had greater shoot length, leaf area, leaf stem, and root dry mass. However, gas exchange was comparable among treatments, in part because the container size was restricting growth of the larger mycorrhizal plantlets. Non-mycorrhizal plantlets had greater leaf area ratios and specific leaf areas than mycorrhizal plantlets. Increased leaf tissue mineral levels of P, Mg, Cu, and Mo also occurred with mycorrhizal plantlets. Roots of inoculated guava plantlets were heavily colonized with arbuscules, vesicles, and endospores. Guava plantlets were highly mycotrophic with a mycorrhizal dependency index of 103%.

Mycorrhiza (2000) 10: 1-8