Journal Article

Influence of ectomycorrhizal fungal inoculation on growth and root IAA concentrations of transplanted conifers

C. F. Scagel and R. G. Linderman

in Tree Physiology

Volume 18, issue 11, pages 739-747
Published in print November 1998 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online November 1998 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI:
Influence of ectomycorrhizal fungal inoculation on growth and root IAA concentrations of transplanted conifers

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We determined whether in vitro plant growth regulator production by mycorrhizal fungi is correlated with conifer seedling growth and root IAA concentrations. Container-grown seedlings of interior Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl.) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl.) were inoculated at seeding with ectomycorrhizal fungi having a high, moderate or low capacity to produce either IAA or ethylene in vitro. Inoculated seedlings were grown for one season in the nursery, harvested in December, cold stored over winter and then transplanted to either a nursery field or a forest site in the spring. Seedling morphology and endogenous IAA in roots were measured immediately after cold storage and again six and 12 months after transplanting. Morphological responses to inoculation varied among different mycorrhizal fungi. Free IAA concentration of roots was increased in some inoculation treatments for all conifer species. In seedlings transplanted to a nursery field, in vitro ethylene-producing capacity of the ectomycorrhizal fungi was highly correlated with more morphological features than in vitro IAA-producing capacity. Both IAA- and ethylene-producing capacity were significantly correlated with more morphological features in seedlings transplanted to a forest site than in seedings transplanted to a nursery field. One year after transplanting, only in vitro IAA-producing capacity was correlated with endogenous IAA concentration of roots of the inoculated seedlings. We conclude that growth responses of conifer seedlings can be partially influenced by IAA and ethylene produced by ectomycorrhizal fungal symbionts.

Keywords: ectomycorrhizae; ethylene; roots; seedling survival

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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