See more from this Session: Microbe, Plant , and Soil Interactions (Includes Graduate Student Poster Competition)
Monday, October 17, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
This research is a two year study on the effects of endomycorrhizae on vegetable production using conventional vs. organic practices. Mycorrhizae have been shown in lab and greenhouse studies to improve plant nutrient uptake especially of nitrogen and phosphorous. In return the plant gives carbon to the arbuscular mycorrhizae. This study is to determine how mycorrhizae improve available plant nutrient uptake from two different production systems. Measurements have been taken on yield, vegetative quality, and soil nutrient content. Two plant species were chosen, Tomatoes (c.v. ‘Big Beef’) and Bush Beans (c.v. ‘Tenderette’). A two factor factorial design was used with three different inputs: MO- 0 mycorrhizae, M1- 1x rate, and M2- 2x rate. Each mycorrhizal input was replicated three times in both the conventional and organic system. Initial results from the first year show that there is no difference in yield based on mycorrhizae additions at any rate. There is a significant yield difference based on conventional production over organic production. Possible explanations for yield difference in the organic production system include: different insect controls, slower release of nutrients from poultry litter, and indigenous microbial competition from leaf mulch. More research needs to be completed to draw stronger conclusions about the mycorrhizal influence on production systems. This information could be used by producers to benefit soil quality, nutrient uptake, and yield by using mycorrhizae associations in production.