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Mycorrhiza Research

Cassava (Manihot esculanta Crantz)


ISSN: 0940-6360 (printed version)
ISSN: 1432-1890 (electronic version)

Abstract Volume 4 Issue 6 (1994) pp 241-245

Dependency of cassava (Manihot esculanta Crantz) on vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

M. Habte, M. N. Byappanahalli
Department of Agronomy and Soil Science, University of Hawaii, 1910 East West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

Cassava plants were started in the greenhouse either from small cuttings (2.0 mg P/cutting) or large cuttings (20.2 mg P/cutting) in a subsurface Oxisol not inoculated or inoculated with Glomus aggregatum at target soil solution P concentrations of 0.003-0.2 mg l-1. Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungal colonization levels in excess of 60% were attained on cassava roots irrespective of the size of cutting material used or target soil solution P status. However, plants started from large cuttings grew faster and better than those started from smaller ones. Cassava was found to be very highly dependent on VAM fungi if grown from small cutting but only marginally dependent if grown from large cuttings. The lower dependence of cassava on VAM fungi when started from larger cuttings appears to be related to the high P reserve in these cuttings and hence the low requirement of the plants for soil P until the P reserve in the cuttings is significantly depleted.

Key words: Glomus aggregatum - Cuttings - Dependency categories - Manihot esculanta - Soil solution P

Correspondence to: M. Habte

Effects of arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) and different hedgerow prunings on yield of alley-cropped cassava and intercropped maize in a degraded tropical soil

invited talk Friday August 9
1Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan Nigeria
2Soil Microbiology, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria
The effect of the AM fungus, Glomus deserticola, on fresh root yield of three cassava (Manihot esculent Crantz) cultivars and intercropped maize (Zea mays as influenced by two hedgerow species (Gliricidia sepium and Senna siamea) and their mixture pruned at two-month intervals were investigated in an alley cropping experiment. Mixing the two (Gliricidia and Senna) tree species in the same hedgerow, particularly with AM inocculation, significantly improved the cassava root yields compared to either of the tree species used alone as hedgerow. In these alley-cropped plots, AM inoculation increased cassava root yield by 42, 141 and 205% over uninoculated plants for cv TMS 30572, 91934 and 4(2)1425 respectively. Decomposition of the prunings was not affected by AM inoculation. For intercropped maize, there was no significant differences between the grain yield of maize mulched with pure Gliricidia and mixture of prunings, inoculated or unioculated. These grain yields were 24-200% enhanced by AM inoculation than their uninoculated counterparts and controls in this degraded soil.

Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is one of the most important calorie-producing crops in the tropics. It is efficient in carbohydrate production, adapted to a wide range of environments, and tolerant to drought and acid soils. The major portion of the economic product, the root, is consumed as food through varying degrees of processing. However, the market of cassava in China is small due to its poor yield in the acidic P-deficient soils where it is produced. Mycorrhiza technology can be easily transferred to cassava production by inoculating stem cuttings that are traditionally hand-transplanted into the field.

Balota, EL; Lopes, ES; Hungria, M; Dobereiner, J. 1997. Inoculation of diazotrophic bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on the cassava crop. Pesqui. Agropecu. Bras. 32(6): 627-639.


The versatility of the cassava crop (Manihot esculenta Crantz) to adapt to low fertility soils, although plants require high levels of nutrients, has been related to the occurrence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AM) and diazotrophic bacteria. One experiment was then performed with micropropagated plants, to evaluate the effects of AM fungi and diazotrophic bacteria on cassava growth and nutrition. The experiment was performed in pots of 3.5 L capacity, with sandy disinfected soil as substrate. Inoculation with diazotrophic bacteria did not show any statistically significant positive effect, while the inoculation with AM fungi and co-inoculation of AM fungi and bacteria favored growth and nutritional parameters. Co-inoculation of AM fungi and Bacterium E increased shoot and root dry weight up to 50% and 105%, respectively, in relation to the bacterium alone. Synergistic effects were also observed in the nutrient content, increasing shoot and root N up to 88% and 173%, and P content up to 83% and 158%, respectively. Co-inoculation of Bacterium E with Glomus clarum also increased mycorrhizal colonization by 40% and sporulation up to 168%, in comparison to the fungi alone. These beneficial effects suggest that the stimulus could be both by the increase in plant nutrient uptake as well as by the stimulation of colonization by MA fungi.

AzconAguilar, C; Cantos, M; Troncoso, A; Barea, JM. 1997. Beneficial effect of arbuscular mycorrhizas on acclimatization of micropropagated cassava plantlets. Sci Hortic 72(1): 63-71.


Survival and development of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) plantlets has been increased by modifying tissue culture protocols and by mycorrhizal inoculation. About 90% of plantlets were successfully rooted in vitro and 75% survived after the acclimatization phase, Inoculation with Glomus deserticola early in the post vitro weaning stage enhanced percent survival and improved tolerance to the transplanting stress. Shoot, root and tuber development of the micropropagated plants was increased following inoculation with different arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Growth responses were dependent on both the cultivar (clone) and the AM fungi involved. G. deserticola was very effective in improving growth of both clones, the effectivity of G. clarum and C. fasciculatum being dependent on the cultivar, These results emphasize the need for selection trials before appropriate plant cultivar/AM fungi combinations can be recommended.

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