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Bioresour Technol. 2010 Apr;101(7):2326-30. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2009.11.071. Epub 2009 Dec 23.

On-farm production of inoculum of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and assessment of diluents of compost for inoculum production.

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US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, USA.


On-farm production of arbuscular mycorrhizal [AM] fungus inoculum can be employed to make the benefits of the symbiosis more available to vegetable farmers. Experiments were conducted to modify an existing method for the production of inoculum in temperate climates to make it more readily adoptable by farmers. Perlite, vermiculite, and peat based potting media were tested as diluents of yard clippings compost for the media in which the inoculum was produced using bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge) as host plant. All produced satisfactory concentrations of AM fungus propagules, though vermiculite proved to be better than potting media (89 vs. 25 propagules cm(-3), respectively). Two methods were tested for the growth of AM fungi indigenous to the farm: (1) adding field soil into the vermiculite and compost mixture and (2) pre-colonizing the bahiagrass seedlings in media inoculated with field soil prior to transplant into that mixture. Adding 100 cm(3) of field soil to the compost and vermiculite produced 465 compared to 137 propagules cm(-3) for the pre-colonization method. The greater flexibility these modifications give will make it easier for farmers to produce inoculum of AM fungi on-the-farm.

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