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Plant Physiol. 1989 Sep;91(1):227-32.

Root Respiration and Growth in Plantago major as Affected by Vesicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Infection.

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  • 1Institute for Ecological Research, P. O. Box 371, 3233 ZG Oostvoorne, The Netherlands.


Effects of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) infection and P on root respiration and dry matter allocation were studied in Plantago major L. ssp. pleiosperma (Pilger). By applying P, the relative growth rate of non-VAM controls and plants colonized by Glomus fasciculatum (Thaxt. sensu Gerdemann) Gerdemann and Trappe was increased to a similar extent (55-67%). However, leaf area ratio was increased more and net assimilation rate per unit leaf area was increased less by VAM infection than by P addition. The lower net assimilation rate could be related to a 20 to 30% higher root respiration rate per unit leaf area of VAM plants. Root respiration per unit dry matter and specific net uptake rates of N and P were increased more by VAM infection than by P addition. Neither the contribution of the alternative respiratory path nor the relative growth rate could account for the differences in root respiration rate between VAM and non-VAM plants. It was estimated that increased fungal respiration (87%) and ion uptake rate (13%) contributed to the higher respiratory activity of VAM roots of P. major.

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