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Nursery inoculation with the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus viscosum and its effect on the growth and physiology of hybrid artichoke seedlings

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Author(s): Angela Campanelli | Claudia Ruta | Anna Tagarelli | Irene Morone-Fortunato

Journal: Italian Journal of Agronomy
ISSN 1125-4718

Volume: 6;
Issue: 3;
Start page: e26;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Cynara cardunculus L. var. scolymus Fiori | arbuscular mycorrhiza | nursery

ABSTRACT
Most nurseries operating in Italy adopt high technologies and produce transplants that well suit and satisfy the grower’s need to produce high value crops. Mycorrhizas are discussed as a tool for improving and developing plant production in the nursery. Much research has been carried out on mycorrhizal symbiosis and we now know more about the symbiontic relationship between fungi and host plants. Plants receive numerous benefits from this symbiosis which are more macroscopic the earlier in the ontogenetic cycle this symbiosis is established. Therefore, it appears that the most effective period in which the inoculum should be made corresponds to the in-nursery growing stage. The earlier the plant is inoculated, the more evident the effect will be. In this study, several aspects related to the physiological foundations of arbuscular mycorrhiza in artichoke plants are presented. The main goal was to study the effects of mycorrhiza on the growth and physiological parameters of three hybrids of artichokes growing in the nursery. The experimental 3¥2 design included two treatments (with or without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi) and three hybrids of artichokes marketed by Nunhems (Opal F1, Madrigal F1, Concerto F1). Mycorrhizal plants have greater shoot length, leaf area, shoot and root fresh and dry mass, and root density. This also corresponded with increased photosynthetic rates and stomatal conductance of mycorrhizal plants. Mycorrhizal colonization improves relative water content and increases proline concentration in vegetal tissue. Inoculation produced the most beneficial effect on hybrid Madrigal F1 and on hybrid Opal F1; the best mycorrhizal affinity was enhanced when compared to hybrid Concerto F1. The results showed that mycorrhizal symbiosis stimulated the growth of inoculated seedlings providing a qualitatively good propagation material.
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