Colonization and Growth Effects of the Mycorrhizal Fungus Glomus intraradicies in a Commercial Nursery Container Production System.

by Fred T. Davies, Jr., J. A. Saraiva Grossi, L. Carpio, and A. A. Estrada-Luna

The objectives of this research were to demonstrate that mycorrhiza can survive in a commercial nursery container production system, and enhance plant productivity. Four species were used as host plants [Nandina domestica 'Moon Bay', Loropetalurn chinense variety Rubrum 'Hinepurpleleaf' Plumb delight, Salvia gregu, and Photinia fraseri]. Plants were inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Glomus intraradices, and grown in a commercial nursery in Texas. For the first 5.5 months, plants were grown in #1 cans containing either 3 kg cu m (5 lbs. cu yd) or 4.2 kg cy m (7 lbs. cu yd) 24N-4P2O5-8K2O. For the final 6.5 months of the study, plants were in larger containers, all of which contained 4.2 kg cu m (7 lbs. cu yd) 24N-4P2O5-8K2O. The commercial inoculum of Glomus intraradices only enhanced growth of N. domestica. The shoot dry mass of mycorrhizal N. domestica plants at 3 kg cu m was the same as non-colonized plants at the higher fertility level of 4.2 cu m. Intraradical hyphae development and colonization (total arbuscules, vesicles/endospores, hyphae) of L. chinense, N. domestica, and S. gregii increased at the higher fertility levels. S. gregii had the greatest mycorrhizal development and a 216% increase in hyphae development and colonization at the higher fertility level.

J. Environ. Hort. 18(4): 247-251. December 2000.