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Mycorrhiza. 2003 Oct;13(5):277-81. Epub 2003 Apr 24.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi-parasite-host interaction for the control of Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth. in sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench].

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  • 1Department of Crop Science, University of Maiduguri, P.M.B. 1069, Maiduguri, Borno state, Nigeria.


Five Glomus species (G. intraradices, G. albidum, G. mosseae, G. fasciculatum, and G. etunicatum) were compared against a check [without arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, plus Striga] and control (without AM fungi or Striga) treatments for the control of Striga in a tolerant sorghum variety (War-wara bashi) in an experiment carried out in 12-cm-diameter clay pots. The experiment was carried out in a controlled growth chamber. G. mosseae significantly reduced the number of Striga emerging per plant, increased plant growth, shoot and total dry matter yield of sorghum, did not affect the root dry matter compared with the other AM fungi species, but had a comparable effect to the control treatment. All the AM fungi except G. mosseae, and also the Striga-infested treatment, increased the root:shoot ratio compared to the control treatment. The percent reduction (62%) of Striga emergence after G. mosseae inoculation resulted in about a 30% increase in total dry matter yield of sorghum over the control, while the total loss in dry matter yield of sorghum due to Striga infestation was 36%. Root colonization of sorghum by AM fungi was highest for G. mosseae (44%) followed by G. intraradices (24%) and G. albidum (23%) then G. fasciculatum (18%), with the lowest recorded for G. etunicatum (14%). No colonization of Striga roots was observed. The potential of AM fungi to reduce or to compensate for Striga infestation could be important for soil management, especially in the tropics, and for the reduction of Striga-resistant varieties of sorghum which are mycorrhiza-responsive.

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