Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and organic fertilizer influence
photosynthesis, root phosphatase activity, nutrition, and growth
of Ipomoea carnea ssp. fistulosa

by Lucila Amaya-Carpio, F.T. Davies, Jr., T. Fox, and C. He


The effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) inoculation and organic slow release fertilizer (OSRF) on photosynthesis, root phosphatase activity, nutrient acquisition, and growth of Ipomoea carnea N. von Jacquin ssp. fistulosa (K. Von Martinus ex J. Choisy) D. Austin (bush morning glory) was determined in a greenhouse study. The AMF treatments consisted of a commercial isolate of Glomus intraradices and a non-colonized (NonAMF) control. The OSRF was applied at 10, 30, and 100 % of the manufacturer's recommended rate. AMF plants had a higher net photosynthetic rate (PN), higher leaf elemental N, P, and K, and generally greater growth than NonAMF plants. Total colonization levels of AMF plants ranged from 27 % (100 % OSRF) to 79 % (30 % OSRF). Root acid phosphatase (ACP) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities were generally higher in AMF than non-AMF plants. When compared to NonAMF at 100 % OSRF, AMF plants at 30 % OSRF had higher or comparable ACP and ALP activity, higher leaf elemental P, N, Fe, Cu, and Zn, and a greater PN (at the end of the experiment), leading to generally greater growth parameters with the lower fertility in AMF plants. We suggest that AMF increased nutrient acquisition from an organic fertilizer source by enhancing ACP and ALP activity thus facilitating P acquisition, increasing photosynthesis, and improving plant growth.

PHOTOSYNTHETICA 47 (1): 1-10, 2009