• Contributions of Beneficial Soil Fungi to Drought Stress Tolerance of Young Citrus

      Fidelibus, Matthew; Martin, Chris; Stutz, Jean; Wright, Glenn; Department of Botony, Arizona State University (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1997-11)
      Four arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal isolates (Glomus sp.) from disparate edaphic conditions were screened for effects on whole -plant transpiration of juvenile 'Volkamer' lemon (Citrus volkameriana Ten. and Pasq.) plants of similar shoot mass and canopy leaf area. Mycorrhizal and non -mycorrhizal plants were grown in 8 -liter containers for 2.5 months under well- watered conditions before subjection to three consecutive soil drying episodes of increased severity (soil moisture tensions of -0.02 [still moist], -0.06 [moderately dry], and -0.08[dry] MPa respectively). Whole plant transpiration measurements were made on the last day of each soil drying episode and measurements were repeated on the first and second days after re- watering, when soil profiles were moist. The percent root length colonized by AM fungi differed among isolates. Three AM fungal isolates, Glomus sp. 25A, Glomus mosseae (Nicol. & Gerde.) Gerde. & Trappe 114C, and Glomus intraradices Schenck & Smith FL 208-3 increased root length and subsequently increased lemon plant water use. Conversely, plants inoculated with Glomus mosseae 51C did not enhance lemon plant root length nor improve plant water use compared with nonmycorrhizal control plants. Inoculating citrus with AM fungi that promote root extension may reduce plant water deficit stress under field conditions.