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Responses of sugarcane, maize, and soybean to phosphorus and vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

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Kelly, R.M., Edwards, D.G., Thompson, J.P. and Magarey, R.C. (2001) Responses of sugarcane, maize, and soybean to phosphorus and vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 52 (7). pp. 731-743. ISSN 1836-0947


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/AR00131


The presence of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi in long-term cane-growing fields associated with yield decline led to the supposition that VAM fungi may be responsible for the poor yields. A glasshouse trial was established to test the effectiveness of a species of VAM fungi, Glomus clarum, extracted from one of these North Queensland fields on the growth of sugarcane (Saccharum interspecific hybrid), maize (Zea mays), and soybean (Glycine max) for 6 phosphorus (P) rates (0, 2.7, 8.2, 25, 74, 222 mg/kg). For maize and soybean plants that received VAM (+VAM), root colonisation was associated with enhanced P uptake, improved dry weight (DW) production, and higher index tissue-P concentrations than those without VAM (–VAM). By comparing DW responses of maize and soybean for different P rates, savings in fertiliser P of up to 160 and 213 kg/ha, respectively, were realised. Sugarcane plants were generally less responsive. Apart from a 30% DW increase with VAM when 2.7 mg P/kg was added, DW of +VAM plants was equivalent to, or worse than in the case of 222 mg P/kg, DW of –VAM plants. For all 3 host species, colonisation was least at the highest P application, presumably from excessive P within the plant tissue. Critical P concentrations for the 3 host species were below those reported elsewhere, and for soybean and sugarcane, the critical concentration for +VAM plants was lower than that of –VAM plants. There are 3 implications that arise from this study. First, VAM fungi present in cane-growing soils can promote the growth of maize and soybean, which are potential rotation crops, over a range of P levels. Second, the mycorrhizal strain taken from this site did not generally contribute to a yield decline in sugarcane plants. Third, application of P fertiliser is not necessary for sugarcane when acid-extractable P is <30 mg/kg if sufficient VAM propagules are present, or mp;lt;47 mg/kg if a mycorrhizal response is not anticipated.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural education > Research. Experimentation
Live Archive:09 Jan 2024 02:11
Last Modified:10 Jan 2024 01:36

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