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, 23 (7), 543-50

The Intercropping Partner Affects Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Fusarium Oxysporum F. Sp. Lycopersici Interactions in Tomato

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The Intercropping Partner Affects Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Fusarium Oxysporum F. Sp. Lycopersici Interactions in Tomato

Karin Hage-Ahmed et al. Mycorrhiza.

Abstract

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and their bioprotective aspects are of great interest in the context of sustainable agriculture. Combining the benefits of AMF with the utilisation of plant species diversity shows great promise for the management of plant diseases in environmentally compatible agriculture. In the present study, AMF were tested against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici with tomato intercropped with either leek, cucumber, basil, fennel or tomato itself. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) root colonisation of tomato was clearly affected by its intercropping partners. Tomato intercropped with leek showed even a 20 % higher AM colonisation rate than tomato intercropped with tomato. Positive effects of AMF expressed as an increase of tomato biomass compared to the untreated control treatment could be observed in root as well as in shoot weights. A compensation of negative effects of F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici on tomato biomass by AMF was observed in the tomato/leek combination. The intercropping partners leek, cucumber, basil and tomato had no effect on F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici disease incidence or disease severity indicating no allelopathic suppression; however, tomato co-cultivated with tomato clearly showed a negative effect on one plant/pot with regard to biomass and disease severity of F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici. Nonetheless, bioprotective effects of AMF resulting in the decrease of F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici disease severity were evident in treatments with AMF and F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici co-inoculation. However, these bioprotective effects depended on the intercropping partner since these effects were only observed in the tomato/leek and tomato/basil combination and for the better developed plant of tomato/tomato. In conclusion, the effects of the intercropping partner on AMF colonisation of tomato are of great interest for crop plant communities and for the influences on each other. The outcome of the bioprotective effects of AMF resulting in the decrease on F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici disease severity and/or compensation of plant biomass does not depend on the degree of AM colonisation but more on the intercropping partner.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
AM colonisation rate (%) of different plant species in different intercropping combinations (mean ± standard error). T = tomato, L = leek, C = cucumber, B = basil, F = fennel; empty bars represent the tomato plants and grey bars the corresponding intercropping partner. Plants were only inoculated with AMF. Different letters indicate significant difference according to ANOVA and Bonferroni’s test (P < 0.05). * excluded from statistical analysis

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