American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Response of Root Properties to Tripartite Symbiosis between Lucerne (Medicago sativa L.), Rhizobia and Mycorrhiza Under Dry Organic Farming Conditions

M. R. Ardakani, G. Pietsch, A. Moghaddam, A. Raza and J. K. Friedel

DOI : 10.3844/ajabssp.2009.266.277

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Volume 4, Issue 4

Pages 266-277


Problem statement: It is generally considered that root turnover is a major contributor to organic matter and mineral nutrient cycles in organic managed agroecosystems. Approach: This study designed to investigate whether microbial activity could affect on root properties of Lucerne in an organically managed field under dry weather conditions. The trial was laid out as a factorial experiment in the fields of the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna- Austria at Raasdorf in 2007. The experimental factors of Rhizobium (Sinorhizobium meliloti) and Arbuscular Mycorrhiza (AM) including Glomus etunicatum, G. intraradices and G. claroideum and irrigation levels were tested. Results: Results showed that increasing water deficit affected root dry weigh, specific root mass and root length significantly at 1% level and co-inoculation of rhizobium and mycorrhiza with irrigation increased all root parameters. Data’s of variance analysis for mycorrhizal colonization showed that main effect of using mycorrhiza had significant effects on root parameters at 5 and 1% probability level at first and second harvest, respectively. Results of mean comparisons by Duncan’s Multiple Range Test showed that mycorrhizal colonization was higher in the inoculated treatments by rhizobium, mycorrhiza and irrigated plots in both harvests. Double interaction of mycorrhiza and irrigation was higher in both harvests (37.05 and 65.73%, respectively). Conclusion: It can be suggested that the tripartite symbiosis of Rhizobium, AM and Lucerne can improve the performance of Lucerne in organic farming and under dry conditions. Such traits could be incorporated into breeding programs to improve drought tolerance especially in organic fields.


© 2009 M. R. Ardakani, G. Pietsch, A. Moghaddam, A. Raza and J. K. Friedel. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.