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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: On-Farm Production and Utilization of Mycorrhizal Fungus Inocula

Authors
item Douds, David
item Nagahashi, Gerald
item Pfeffer, Philip
item Kayser, William - STONELEIGH ESTATES
item Reider, C - RODALE INSTITUTE

Submitted to: International Conference on Mycorrhiza
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 21, 2003
Publication Date: August 10, 2003
Citation: DOUDS, D.D., NAGAHASHI, G., PFEFFER, P.E., KAYSER, W., REIDER, C. ON-FARM PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION OF MYCORRHIZAL FUNGUS INOCULA. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MYCORRHIZA. 2003. ABSTRACT #147. P. 198.

Technical Abstract: Arbuscular mycorrhizal [AM] fungi colonize the roots of the majority of crop plants, forming a symbiosis which enhances nutrient uptake, pest resistance, water relations, and soil aggregation. It is widely accepted that inoculation with effective isolates of AM fungi increases plant growth in low nutrient soils. Although inocula are available commercially, on-farm production of AM fungus inoculum would save farmers the associated processing and shipping costs. In addition, on-farm methods can be used to produce locally adapted isolates, a potentially important consideration in marginal soils. A variety of on-farm inoculum production methods have been proposed. These entail increasing inoculated isolates or indigenous AM fungi in fumigated or unfumigated field soil, respectively, or transplanting pre-colonized host plants into compost-based substrate. Subsequent delivery of the inoculum to the field presents technological barriers requiring that the fungi be pelletized in some form amenable to farm machinery. However, a readily available method for utilization of inocula is mixing it with potting media for growth of vegetable seedlings for transplant to the field. Results of a representative sample of these and other examples of use of AM fungi in the field also will be reviewed. Recent evidence indicates that pre-inoculation of seedlings can increase yields even in high P soils.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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