Authors: MUTHUKUMAR THANGAVELU, MUTHURAJA RAJI
Abstract: We studied the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and dark septate endophyte (DSE) fungal associations in five species of pot-grown Asparagus (A. aethiopicus, A. densiflorus, A. setaceus, A. racemosus, and A. umbellatus). Root colonization by AM and DSE fungi and AM spore numbers in the soil were assessed. AM fungal diversity indices like species richness, Shannon-Weiner index, Simpson's index, evenness, and Jaccard's index were determined. Relationships among the fungal and soil variables were also examined. All the species of Asparagus examined were colonized by both AM and DSE fungi, and these associations have been reported for the first time in four species. Root colonization by both the fungi varied significantly among Asparagus species and was related to each other and soil factors. The AM colonization patterns reported in four Asparagus species for the first time were characterized by either intermediate or Arum-Paris type. The AM fungal community was dominated by members belonging to the Glomerales and was significantly influenced by Asparagus species and soil factors. We conclude that Asparagus species could support a diverse AM fungal community even under pot conditions; however, certain AM fungal species are sensitive to changes in soil factors and host species.
Keywords: Arbusculate coils, arbuscules, diversity, Glomus, morphology, species richness, soil factors
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