Advances in Agronomy by N.C. Brady (Eds.)

By N.C. Brady (Eds.)

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Mycorrhizal fungi are sensitive to soil moisture status; Redhead (1975) demonstrated that the optimal water supply for plant growth is also suitable for mycorrhizal infection. With obligate aerobes (see Saif, 1981), flooding is detrimental to mycorrhyzal activity. , 1983). Soil temperature affects the preinfection stages of mycorrhizal development in that the number of “entry points” increases as the temperature rises from 12 to 25°C (Smith and Bowen, 1979). The level and type of nutrients affect the formation of and the response to mycorrhizas (Smith, 1980; Hepper, 1983).

Sativa has been the subject of some studies. Infection levels in mycorrhizal plants were compared after treatment with pure substances and preparations from cultures of R. meliloti, which are known to contain auxins, giberellins, and cytokinins. Cell-free supernatants from the R. meliloti cultures tested increased VAM infection in M . , 1978a; Azc6n-Aguilar and Barea, 1978). , 1978a). , 1979). All of these activities can affect the formation or effectiveness of VAM. The hormonal interactions in the rhizospheres of legumes seem more complicated as VAM fungi (Barea and Azc6n-Aguilar, 1980, 1982b) are also able to produce PH.

The level and type of nutrients affect the formation of and the response to mycorrhizas (Smith, 1980; Hepper, 1983). A general principle is that a low-tomoderate soil fertility enhances the degree of mycorrhizal development and plant response. Hence mycorrhizal infection could be excluded in fertile agricultural soil (Mosse, 1978). In particular, the level of plant-available phosphate appears to be a suitable index for predicting a growth response to VAM in a given soil. 18 J. BAREA AND C. AZC6N-AGUILAR 5 .

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