High variation in the percentage of root length colonised by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi among 139 lines representing the species subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum)

Megan H. Ryan, Daniel R. Kidd, G.A. Sandral, Z. Yang, Hans Lambers, R.A. Culvenor, A. Stefanski, Phillip G.H. Nichols, R.E. Haling, R.J. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2015 Elsevier B.V.. Development of more phosphorus (P)-efficient pasture legumes could improve the P balance of pasture systems. Trifolium subterraneum (subterranean clover) is the most widely-grown annual pasture legume in southern Australia and is host to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). To examine the potential to alter colonisation level through breeding, 97 lines from the core collection of subterranean clover (core lines) and 42 cultivars (cultivar lines) were grown in a glasshouse in a low-P sandy acid field soil with indigenous AMF (Experiment 1). To examine the robustness of rankings, two cultivars (Riverina and Woogenellup) were also grown in 11 field soils (Experiment 2). To examine whether the presence of AMF changed other root traits important for P uptake, cultivars Riverina and Woogenellup were grown in two low-P field soils (sand, sandy loam), either pasteurised to remove indigenous AMF or unpasteurised, and with and without addition of inoculum of AMF (Experiment 3). The range of colonisation for core lines and cultivar lines was similar (~12-68% of root length), however, the core lines had higher mean colonisation (37% vs 33%) and a greater proportion of lines with >40% of root length colonised (41% vs 24% of lines). Woogenellup was more heavily colonised than Riverina in eight soils and had a similar level of colonisation in three soils. In the sand, pasteurisation resulted in shoot DM increasing by up to 100% (possibly due to reduction in root diseases). Inoculation, in pasteurised and unpasteurised soil, resulted in an increase in shoot DM, shoot P concentration and shoot P content of ~100%, increased average root diameter by up to 13%, decreased specific root length by up 30% and decreased root mass ratio; effects on average root hair length were variable. In the unpasteurised sandy loam, shoot P concentrations were higher than in the sand, and inoculation slightly increased shoot P concentration, but not shoot DM; the effects of inoculation on root traits were mostly small. We conclude
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-232
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Volume98
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

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