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Multiple taxa inoculants of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi enhanced colonization frequency, biomass production, and water use efficiency of cassava (Manihot esculenta)

Journal Contribution - e-publication

Increasing water use efficiency (WUE) in crops is critical to maintaining agricultural production under climate change-exacerbated drought. One of these approaches may consist of leveraging on the beneficial interactions between crops and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). In this study, we investigated how inoculation with AMF from three different taxa (Claroideoglomus etunicatum (T1), Gigaspora margarita (T2), and Rhizophagus irregularis (T3)) and their combination (T123) and a non-inoculated "control" treatment in a greenhouse could achieve increased biomass production and water use efficiency in cassava under three levels of water availability (100% PC, 60%-moderate stress, and 30%-severe stress). Whereas T1 and T2 resulted in a lower growth rate for the plants than the control, T123 enhanced cassava height and the number of petioles and leaves. T123 and T3 increased the total plant dry biomass in comparison with uninoculated plants by 30% and 26%, respectively. The T123 and plants inoculated with T3 significantly increased cassava above-ground biomass by 19% as compared to T1 (8.68 ± 2.44 g) and T2 (8.68 ± 2.44 g) inoculated plants. T123 resulted in higher WUE, which was validated by the leaf carbon (δ13C) isotopic signature, significantly outperforming cassava with T1 and T2, yet there was no difference between the control and T3. Overall, this study demonstrated that the use of multiple AMF from different taxa can increase cassava growth and WUE under greenhouse conditions.
Journal: International Microbiology
ISSN: 1139-6709
Publication year:2023