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Growth responses of sugarcane to mycorrhizal spore density and phosphorus rate

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Kelly, R.M., Edwards, D.G., Thompson, J.P. and Magarey, R.C. (2005) Growth responses of sugarcane to mycorrhizal spore density and phosphorus rate. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 56 (12). pp. 1405-1413.


Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au/


Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, commonly found in long-term cane-growing fields in northern Queensland, are linked with both negative and positive growth responses by sugarcane (Saccharum spp.), depending on P supply. A glasshouse trial was established to examine whether AM density might also have an important influence on these growth responses. Mycorrhizal spores (Glomus clarum), isolated from a long-term cane block in northern Queensland, were introduced into a pasteurised low-P cane soil at 5 densities (0, 0.06, 0.25, 1, 4 spores/g soil) and with 4 P treatments (0, 8.2, 25, and 47 mg/kg). At 83 days after planting, sugarcane tops responded positively to P fertilizer, although responses attributable to spore density were rarely observed. In one case, addition of 4 spores/g led to a 53% yield response over those without AM at 8 mgP/kg, or a relative benefit of 17 mg P/kg. Root colonisation was reduced for plants with nil or 74 mg P/kg. For those without AM, P concentration in the topmost visible dewlap (TVD) leaf increased significantly with fertiliser P (0.07 v. 0.15%). However, P concentration increased further with the presence of AM spores. Irrespective of AM, the critical P concentration in the TVD leaf was 0.18%. This study confirms earlier reports that sugarcane is poorly responsive to AM. Spore density, up to 4 spores/g soil, appears unable to influence this responsiveness, either positively or negatively. Attempts to gain P benefits by increasing AM density through rotation seem unlikely to lead to yield increases by sugarcane. Conversely, sugarcane grown in fields with high spore densities and high plant-available P, such as long-term cane-growing soils, is unlikely to suffer a yield reduction from mycorrhizal fungi.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), Agri-Science, Crop and Food Science, Plant Science
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:Reproduced with permission from © CSIRO Publishing. Access to published version may be available via Publisher’s website.
Keywords:AM colonisation; Arbuscular mycorrhiza; Australasia; Australia; bacteria (microorganisms); critical P concentration; fungi; fungus; Glomus clarum; growth response; mycorrhizal dependency; P nutrition; phosphorus; Queensland; Saccharum; Saccharum hybrid cultivar; sugar cane; yield.
Subjects:Science > Botany > Cryptogams
Plant pests and diseases > Individual or types of plants or trees > Sugarcane
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Fertilisers
Live Archive:02 Mar 2009 00:34
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:43

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