Root hair length determines beneficial effect of a Glomus species on shoot growth of some pasture species

P.F. Schweiger, Alan Robson, N.J. Barrow

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    112 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Differences between plant species in the benefit derived from arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization have often been attributed to differences in physical properties of their roots, especially in root hair development. To test this hypothesis, the growth response to phosphate of five pasture species which differed markedly in the length of their root hairs was measured. Plants in the mycorrhizal treatments were inoculated with a Glomus sp. (isolate WUM 10(1)) while non-mycorrhizal plants received control inoculum. Benefit was described as the relative effectiveness of phosphorus (P) for the mycorrhizal plants compared with non-mycorrhizal plants. The beneficial effect of Glomus sp. was inversely related to root hair length of the host plant but it was not well related to root diameter, root length per plant or root/shoot ratio. It is suggested that root hairs and external hyphae of Glomus sp. act as alternative, similar ways of shortening the distance for the diffusion of phosphate in soils.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)247-254
    JournalNew Phytologist
    Volume131
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1995

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