Influence of Mycorrhizal Fungus, Phosphorus, and Burrowing Nematode Interactions on Growth of Rough Lemon Citrus Seedlings


  • G. S. Smith
  • D. T. Kaplan


Rough lemon seedlings were grown in mycorrhizal-infested or phosphorus-amended soil (25 and 300 mg P/kg) in greenhouse experiments. Plants Were inoculated with the citrus burrowing nematode, Radopholus citrophilus (0, 50, 100, or 200 nematodes per pot). Six months later, mycorrhizal plants and nonmycorrhizal, high-P plants had larger shoot and root weights than did non-mycorrhizal, low-P plants. Burrowing nematode population densities were lower in roots of mycorrhizal or nonmycorrhizal, high-P plants than in roots of nonmycorrhizal, low-P plants; however, differences in plant growth between mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal plants were not significant with respect to initial nematode inoculum densities. Phosphorus content in leaf tissue was significantly greater in mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal, high-P plants compared with nonmycorrhizal, low-P plants. Nutrient concentrations of K, Mg, and Zn were unaffected by nematode parasitism, whereas P, Ca, Fe, and Mn were less in nematode-infected plants. Enhanced growth associated with root colonization by the mycorrhizal fungus appeared to result from improved P nutrition and not antagonism between the fungus and the nematode. Key words: symbiont, tolerance, Glomus intraradices, Radopholus citrophilus, Citrus limon, burrowing nematode, rough lemon.