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Volume 42 Number 4 Volume 42 Number 5 Volume 42S Number 1

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Research articles

ScienceAsia 42(2016): 315-322 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2016.42.315

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus improves the yield and quality of Lactuca sativa in an organic farming system

Patai Charoonnarta,b, Kanogwan Seraypheapa, Supachitra Chadchawana, Teerada Wangsomboondeea,*

ABSTRACT:     Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi have been reported to enhance the growth of many crop plants. This study examines the effect of Funneliformis mosseae, a type of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF), on the growth of butterhead lettuce in organic cultivation. Lettuces were inoculated with 50 spores of F. mosseae to determine their physiological and biochemical characters compared to uninoculated lettuces in an abandoned field. After 60 days of growth, the AMF-inoculated plants had significantly more leaves (on average, 19.4) and greater leaf fresh weight (on average, 30.4 g) than for the no-AMF treatment which had 15.8 leaves with a total weight of 14.5 g. Net photosynthesis and the chlorophyll a content were higher in the AMF-inoculated plants than in the control plants. The rhizosphere soil of 60-day-old AMF-inoculated butterhead lettuce showed higher organic matter, available phosphorus content, and exchangeable potassium content. The plants in the AMF treatment showed higher total nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contents in leaf and root tissues than the control plants. Antioxidant capacity was analysed by quantifying catalase and ascorbate peroxidase activities, ascorbic acid content, and carotenoid content. All of these parameters tended to be higher in the AMF treatment than in the control. The diphenylpicrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity in AMF-inoculated plants (54%) was twice that in the control plants (24%). These results demonstrate that applying AMF is a cost-effective way to enhance the growth of organically farmed butterhead lettuce.

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a Centre of Excellence in Environmental and Plant Physiology Research Unit, Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330 Thailand
b Programme of Biological Science, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330 Thailand

* Corresponding author, E-mail: teerada.w@chula.ac.th

Received 22 Aug 2015, Accepted 0 0000