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Role of VAM in Nutrient Uptake of Crop Plants

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Role of VAM in Nutrient Uptake of Crop Plants
V. Davamani, A.C. Lourduraj1, R.P. Yogalakshmi and M. Velmurugan2
Agro-Climate Research Centre, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Coimbatore 641003, Tamil Nadu, India 1 Water Technology Centre, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Coimbatore 641003, Tamil Nadu, India 2 Department of Vegetable Crops, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Coimbatore 641003, Tamil Nadu, India

Introduction
Microorganism and their role in soil must be considered as a key component among those conferring soil fertility and productivity [1]. One of the most important plant microbe interactions is the association of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae (VAM) fungi with higher plants. VAM fungi and rhizosphere microorganism could influence their own mutual development which results in a synergistic interaction. VAM fungi and its interaction with other rhizosphere microorganism improve the plant growth and productivity mainly through increased nutrient assimilation, especially P in nutrient deficient soils. Agricultural and horticultural crops have been shown to benefit from VAM on a world-wide basis [2]. The potential application of VAM to the agricultural and horticultural industries is great [3]. Since the fungi involved in this symbiotic host root:fungus association can differ in the degree to which they benefit host growth, it is necessary to screen a broad spectrum of VA mycorrhizal fungi (VAMF) to determine the most promising combination for maximum growth response for a particular crop. The relative host growth benefits, especially improved plant phosphorus nutrition, may vary with soil type, host cultivar [4], fungal susceptibility to hyperparasitism [5], and a number of other factors.
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Frank [8]. where the fungi from external hyphal network in the soil grow extensively within the cells of the cortex. VAM are not host specific. The tested strains resulted in a 2-15-fold growth increase in onions. Endomycorrhizae. 11]. Ectomycorrhizae characterized by dense mycelial sheath around the roots and the intercellular hyphal invasion of the root cortex. Abbott and Robson [6] found that of four isolates of VAMF.B. are found nearly in all the plants. Davamani et al. VAM have ubiquitous geographical distribution and they occur in plants grown in artic. fasciciilatus or uninoculated plants. cv. are limited to mostly temperate forest trees. LLC .) and bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Fluegge) varied greatly with the strain used [7].34 V. VAM fungi are mainly used in crop plants for better nutrient utilization specially ‘P’ nutrient and VAM fungi association is wide spread one and most ancient [9]. Nearly 83% of dicotyledens and 79% of monocotyledons form mutualistic symbiosis [10. The first person to use the term ‘Mycorrhizae’ was the German botanist A. Dangeard [12] was the first to name VAM fungus. Even though there are many reports characterizing specific combinations of mycorrhizal fungal species:crop species. Growth effects of seven different Endogone (Glomus sensu) strains on onion (AIlium cepa L. and a 2-10-fold increase in bahia grass growth. He described two types of mycorrhizae: ecto and endo mycorrhizae. temperate and tropical regions [13]. there is a lack of information relating comparative effects of various species on the growth of one or more crops in Florida or elsewhere. two isolates of Glomus monosporus and one of G. He described a typical VAM and named the endophyte as Rhizophagus populins. Mycorrhizae VAM association is the most prevalent and important mutualistic association in the plant kingdom. mosseae increased the dry weight and phosphorus content in the tops of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L. ‘Seaton Park’) over plants inoculated with G. Recently Morton and Benny [14] have revised the classification and the VAM forming genera and species have been placed under a new order Glomales with three families and six genera: I Order Family Genera Order Sub order I Family I Genera Family II Genera Endogonales Endogonaceae Endogone and Sclerogone Glomales Glomineae Glomaceae Glomus and Sclerocystis Acaulosporaceae Acculospora and Entrophosphora II © 2010 by Taylor & Francis Group.

Gigaspora margarita. leaf area. barley [16]. Sclerocystis. oil palm. in samples collected from Western Ghats of Southern India. barley. Cu and Mn in roots and leaf chlorophyll and growth (e. Rao et al.g. grapes [19]. LLC . Among the three VAM fungi viz. cassava. VAM Application and Hormonal Changes The application of plant growth regulators by themselves and in combination with other substances is commonly used to increase adventitious rooting on © 2010 by Taylor & Francis Group. Acualospora. oats. Zn. papaya. Goje et al. olive. Muthukumar and Udaiyan [28] reported sixty species of Pteridophytes.. Entrophophora and Glomus) have been reported in south western Australian agricultural fields [23]. sorghum. wheat and marigold [20. Several reports are also available on the distribution of VAM fungi in Indian soils. pineapple.Role of VAM in Nutrient Uptake of Crop Plants 35 Sub order II Family III Genera Gigasporineae Gigasporaceae Gigaspora and Scutcillospora VAM Fungal Association with Various Crops Mycorrhizal fungi are associated with different type of plants such as onion [15]. Glomus. dry weight) of the apple plant [31]. Vijayakumar [27] reported that VAM fungi were found to occur in the rhizophere soils of groundnut. coffee. The VAM inoculation increased the concentration of P. citrus. 21]. and Scutellospora sp. legumes [18]. Iqbal et al. wheat and rice were infected with VAM fungi under field condition in Pakistan. [24] reported occurrence of VAM fungi in root system of aromatic plants grown in low ‘P’ soils. [22] reported that young and mature crops of oat. grasses [17]. [25] reported that five species of Sclerocystis were found to occur in some tropical deciduous forest species of Andhra Pradesh. 85 percent had VAM association in their roots and reported the occurrence of Acaulospora. Padmavathi et al. Glomus fasciculatum and Glomus mosseae compared on the growth of apple seedlings in ‘P’ deficient soil. The important factor to be considered in studying effectiveness of a fungus is its ability to take up phosphorus not only in soils with a low nutrient content but also in phosphate amended soil in order to achieve a better use of fertilizers [30]. tea. rubber. Approximately 14 VAM spores of different genera (Gigospora. Glomus fasiculatum was reported to be most efficient [29]. plant height. [26] also reported widespread occurrence of VAM endophyte in both black and red soils with varying physico-chemical characteristics but could not establish positive correlation between VAM spore density and the soil properties. sorghum and mulberry grown in three different soils types in Andhra Pradesh and the infection percentage ranged 75-95. carrot.

Mycorrhizal inoculation also improves root P uptake. or interact with plant growth regulators in a synergistic or antagonistic fashion. increasing water supply which would help sustain physiological activity within plants [44]. Adding mycorrhizal fungi into the rooting medium could result in responses on cuttings similar to that achieved from exogenous application of plant growth regulators. © 2010 by Taylor & Francis Group. Mycorrhizal colonization may increase root length density or alter root system morphology. and then improves nutritional status of host plant. cuttings. Differences in protein and amino acids between cuttings exposed to inoculum and cuttings made with no inoculum were detectable within two to four days after cutting while differences in carbohydrates were detectable within four to seven days after cutting [32]. and changes in carbohydrates [35]. Mycorrhizal inoculation may directly enhance root water uptake providing adequate water to preserve physiological activity in plants. Davamani et al.36 V. therefore. Most of the experiments have indicated that VAM was able to alter water relation of its host plants. LLC . Mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizal colonization enhances stomatal control in rose plants and reduces water loss during drought [45]. are likely to be important for increasing P acquisition during drought periods [41]. 33] and polyphenolic compounds which decrease auxin oxidation [34]. and carbohydrates in cuttings was tracked and comparison of how mixing VAMF into the rooting medium changes composition during the initial stages of rooting. (3) VAM enhances the absorption of P and other nutritional elements. Chemical Changes Associated with VAM Inoculation Many changes in metabolism are known to occur during adventitious root formation including changes in amino acids and proteins important for enzyme function and nitrogen metabolism. Mycorrhizal fungi are known to produce many plant hormones [32. With miniature roses differences in total amino acid. 43]. Mycorrhizal hyphae may also directly enhance root water uptake. 39]. and improves its efficiency of water absorption. Mechanism that VAM can enhance resistance of drought stress in host plant may include many possible aspects: (1) VAM improves the properties of soil in Rhizosphere. particularly under dry soil conditions [40]. (4) VAM activates defense system of host plant quickly. VAM and Water Use Efficiency Mycorrhizal fungi improved water use efficiency in Rosa hybrida plants [36] and in safflower and wheat [37]. improved drought tolerance and better drought recovery by mycorrhizal plants has been linked to improved P uptake [46-48]. protein. Moreover. enabling colonized plants to explore more soil volume and extract more water than uncolonized plants during drought [42. especially under severe drought conditions [38. (2) VAM enlarges root areas of host plants.

At the same time. The VAM is formed by certain fungal species of the family endogonaceae identifiable by their characteristic spores and structures formed on the external hyphae. Si. LLC . 58]. There are extensive microbial activities in rhizosphere soil which is colonized by a wide range of microbes having important effects on plant nutrition. The absorption of Ca. was also reported increased by VAM symbiosis [53]. hyphae are also important ways of P transported in soil. VAM and Nutrient Uptake Control of soil microbe is necessary to optimize N and P nutrition of plants. VAM fungi assist the plants to absorb mineral nutrients from the soil. VAM symbiosis improved absorption capacity. apple. growth and health. Before attaining the true management of soil microbes. which can be used by plant freely.Role of VAM in Nutrient Uptake of Crop Plants 37 (5) VAM protects against oxidative damage generated by drought or (6) VAM affects the expression of genetic material [49]. P concentrations themselves may affect host water balance. orange. they are also known in the biological control of root pathogens. Phosphatase produced by VA fungi play an important role in translating fixed or insoluble into soluble P. They commonly associate with almost all plant species of agricultural © 2010 by Taylor & Francis Group. and is known to be beneficial to plants. For more than two decades now. Besides being noted for guaranteeing the availability of plant nutrients (especially phosphates) in soil and subsequent plant roots’ absorption of the nutrients [59]. Other elements such as Zn and Cu can also not flow freely in soil [52]. while VAM changed the nutritional status of its host plant. particularly low available elements like phosphorus (P). There is a great correlation between nutritional status of plant and its drought resistance. mung bean. Mycorrhiza is a term used to denote the unique structure formed by the interaction of the roots of higher plants and the fungal mycelium [62]. which was proved in sugarcane. and the improvement of drought tolerance of plants [60] and increasing crop yield [61]. which can initiate mycorrhiza associations. 56]. Ni. salt and heavy metal toxicity [57. investigations have increasingly revealed the role of symbionts like VAM fungi. wheat. but it is often fixed in soil and not available to plant. tomato and wild jujube [51]. Mycorrhiza is found throughout the world. More and more experiments have indicated that VAM was able to alter water relations and played a great role in the growth of host plant in the condition of drought stress [50]. Co etc. it is essential to understand better the interactions between plants and microbes in the soil around the roots [54]. drought. and increased the growth of its host plant. These fungi are also reported to consistently stimulate plant absorption of zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) and also increase plant resistance to various stresses like water. VAM and arbuscular mycorrhizas are mutualistic symbioses formed between the roots of most plants and fungi in the order Glomales [55. molybdenum (Mo) and cobalt (Co) [57].

There was an enhanced alkaline and acid phosphatase activity on the root surface and also in the enzyme extract of the root of papaya [67]. © 2010 by Taylor & Francis Group. alley cropped with Glyricida and Leucaena than roots of cassava alley cropped with Senna and sole cassava [76]. and occur on more plant species than any other mycorrhiza [63]. Reddy et al. It is suggested that higher intensity of nitrogen fixing microbial colony improved the nutritional status of plants. 69]. [71] showed that VAM increased the ‘N’ inflow to the plant. 64].by external mycelium of Glomus intraradices is monoxenic culture and has been reported by Bago et al. importance. LLC . Application of Azospirillum and VAM along with 50% recommended dose of fertilizers significantly influence the physiological and biochemical behaviour in relation to flowering in mango cv. Glomus faciculatum significantly increase the N uptake in brinjal at all levels of P [74]. Later Smith et al.mobility is severely restricted by drought due to its own concentration and diffusion rate.transport to the root surface may be significant. Apart from these. Inoculation of Glomus desertieola induced greater uptake of N by roots of cassava. Significant higher nitrogen concentrations have also been reported in mycorrhiza inoculated plants than in non-mycorrhizal plants. which enhance the growth response. VAM are of the highest spread. fasciculatum in sterilized nursery soil showed improved plant height. Papaya (Carica papaya cv. VAM infection enhances the uptake of nutrients (especially phosphorus) by crops [60. Padma [72] reported increase in ‘N’ content by 69% in CO3 variety of papaya upon the inoculation of Glomus fascleulatum. Coorg Honey Dew) plants inoculated with the VA mycorrhizal fungi Glomus mossae and G. [78] reported that the NO3. dry matter as well as P. [77]. Harley and Smith [65] reported that P uptake still depends on the soil phosphorus content. the role of mycorrhizae in NO3. VAM and ‘P’ Nutrition Criteria used in the selection of mycorrhizal fungi for the uptake and transport of ‘P’ from soil to host have been reviewed by Abbott et al. VAM fungi were found to enhance the biological N-fixation and thereby facilitating N input into the plant soil system [75]. VAM and ‘N’ Nutrition VAM fungi play a major role in plant N acquisition in many experiments in ‘P’ deficient soils. However. VAM fungi utilized both the form of NH4+ ions [70]. Davamani et al. Thus under such condition. Azcon et al. Active uptake of NO3.38 V. N and Zn concentrations with no or low levels of phosphorus application. suggesting that VAM hyphae can use N forms that are less available to non-mycorrhizal plants [61]. nodulation and symbiotic N-fixation were improved on mycorrhizal infection [68. [79]. Himsagar. flowering and related biochemical parameters [66]. The N content of the root and leaves of Citrus sinensis was increased due to inoculation of Glomus epigaeum [73].

Zn.Role of VAM in Nutrient Uptake of Crop Plants 39 [80] screened thirteen species of VAM fungi for their symbiosis effect on acid lime in pot experiments and observed that inoculation of Glomus mosseae. and (iii) modification of root environment. [87] used alkaline phosphates level as indicator for screening and differentiating efficient VAM fungi in spring wheat and reported that Glomus versiforme showed higher alkaline phosphatase activity as compared to other isolates tested. [88] confirmed the presence of alkaline phosphatases in intraradical hyphae of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi by isozyme studies and it was found to be closely related to the improvement of plant growth. Kumar et al. the cultivation of crop area is reduced day to day. Glomus caladonium and Gigaspora margarita resulted in greater plant biomass. Now. Smith [86] concluded that mycorrhiza fungi directly increased the rate of phosphate uptake by roots over a range of soil phosphorus level. © 2010 by Taylor & Francis Group. Dodd and Thomson [81] reported that the enhanced growth has been attributed to the plants by increasing the uptake of nutrients such as P. even when mycorrhiza growth has seized. Kennady and Rangarajan [89] studied the effect of six different VAM fungi in three papaya varieties for increase of biomass and phosphatase activity. macrocarpum and G. Acaulospora laevis. Cu and N. LLC . plant growth. Both acid and alkaline phosphates activities were significantly higher in mycorrhizal than non-mycorrhizal roots. leaf number and leaf P and zinc concentration. Acid phosphatase activity by VAM colonization enhanced significantly in all three varieties than alkaline phosphatase activity. leaf area. The mechanism for the activation of fixed nutrients (particularly P and K) by mycorrhizae fungi needs to be carried out in future and crop responses to the interaction of VAM and organic nutrients in acid soils and uptake capacity of various major nutrients should also be evaluated. Thiagarajan and Ahmed [85] examined the effect of a VAM fungus. (ii) faster movement of ‘P’ into mycorrhizal hyphae. Apart from this. Bolan [82] suggested the different mechanism for the increased ‘P’ uptake by mycorrhizal plants which includes: (i) physical exploration of soil. Kojima et al . Conclusion Due to the increasing of input cost especially fertilizer cost. Possibilities for the improvement of nutrient use efficiency include use of VAM fungi and use of chemical growth substances. G. continuous use of fertilizer cause environmental contamination and pollution hazards increase. It has been shown that the external hyphae of VAM fungi could deliver up to 80% of the plant ‘P’ to the host plant over a distance of more than 10 cm from root surface [83. 84]. we are in a position to reduce the use of inorganic fertilizer and increase the use efficiency of applied nutrients. Glomus palldam on phosphates activity in cowpea roots at successive stages of plant growth. mosseae were considered to be best in mobilizing ‘P’ nutrient.

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