Effect of Early Mycorrhisation and Root Length on Low Phosphorus Tolerance of West African Millet
Francesca Beggi, Andreas Buerkert
University of Kassel, Organic Plant Production and Agroecosystems Research in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany
Phosphorus deficiency at early seedling stages is critical for final yield of pearl millet. Longer roots and colonisation with arbuscular mychorrizal (AM) fungi are well known to enhance P uptake and crop performance. Assessing the genotypic variation of early mycorrhisation and its effect on plant growth is important to clarify mechanisms of tolerance to low soil P. In this study, eight pearl millet varieties contrasting in tolerance to low P were grown in pots under low P (no P supply) and high P (0.4 g P pot-1) conditions and harvested at two, four, six and eight weeks after sowing (WAS). Root length was calculated at 2 WAS through scanning of dissected roots and evaluation with WinRhizo software. AM infection (%) and P uptake (shoot P concentration multiplied per shoot dry matter) were measured at each harvest.
Keywords: Acid soils, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, P deficiency, P use efficiency
Contact Address: Andreas Buerkert, University of Kassel, Organic Plant Production and Agroecosystems Research in the Tropics and Subtropics, Steinstraße 19, 37213 Witzenhausen, Germany, e-mail: tropcropsuni-kassel.de