Title: The role of mycorrhizae in the development of two grass species in two soil types

Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Ulfur Oskarsson
Arbuscular mycorrhiza, lyme grass, maize


A greenhouse pot experiment was carried out to evaluate the potential of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to enhance the growth of lyme grass and maize. The experiment was arranged using a full factorial randomized block design, a total of four treatment combinations involving two types of natural soil (Brown Andosol and Arenic Vitrisol), with or without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi inoculum collected from mature lyme grass sand dunes. Each treatment combination was replicated five times for each plant species, resulting in a total of 40 pots. Data were collected on plant growth parameters, and at 35 days after sowing the plants were harvested and root samples taken for examining arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi root colonization. Both plant species grew better in Brown Andosol than Arenic Vitrisol, but for lyme grass this effect was only observed among un-inoculated plants. Maize plants, however, had a positive response to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi inoculation involving leaf width. In most cases, inoculated plant roots were found to have slight arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonization, but un-inoculated plants were usually without any arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The limited arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi root colonization and weak plant responses in this experiment were possibly due to the short duration of the experiment. It likely that extended experimental time would have allowed for further mycorrhizal development and greater arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi influence on both plant species.

Documents and links