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New Zealand Plant Protection 59 (2006): 338-342

Optimising the medium for producing arbuscular mycorrhizal spores and the effect of inoculation on grapevine growth

H.J. Ridgway, J. Kandula and A. Stewart


Arbuscular mycorrhizae form obligate symbioses with the majority of vascular plants. Propagation of these fungi relies on maintenance of pure pot cultures, typically sterile sand supplemented with a nutrient solution is used. However, river sand is inappropriate for New Zealand species as it is denser than soils and prone to water logging. Three different media (silica sand, pumice and potting mix) at two particle sizes (500-1000 µm and 1000-1400 µm) were mixed in nine combinations for the propagation of arbuscular mycorrhizae spores. The results showed that the silica sand/pumice medium (500-1000 µm, bulk density of 1) produced the greatest (P<0.01) number of spores (1.70/ml of substrate). The density of the media had the greatest effect on spore formation. Inoculations of grapevines with spores derived from these cultures significantly improved both root and shoot growth.

Keywords: arbuscular mycorrhizae, pot culture, media, media density, particle size, grapevine.

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