Response of wheat (Triticum Aestivum)to Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhiza(VAM) and Trichoderma on grain yield and uptake of phosphorous in Acidic Soils

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Chishimba, Katongo
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Wheat is an important economic cereal crop used in the production of a wide range of foods and other products. However, due to low wheat production (< 1.5 ton/ha) in acidic soils, and the country’s total demand of about 240,000 metric tones as at 2010, is unable to be met. Acid soils generally cover a large part of the Zambian soils and have problems of low soil fertility including aluminium toxicity, low pH and phosphate. This condition is detrimental to growth of wheat. Therefore, this study is important in that it may provide a cost effective remedy for growing wheat in high rainfall regions and contribute to the total country’s wheat production. The research study was carried out to determine the effect of fungal treatments on selected wheat varieties with regard to uptake of phosphorous and grain yield in acidic soils. The study was conducted in Chipata District at Msekera Research Station of the Zambian Agriculture Research Institute between May and September 2010. The station is located at Latitude 13o 39’N and Longitude 32o 34’E. A Factorial Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications was used. The factors considered were lime at two levels (with and without lime), Variety at four levels (Sahai, Nduna, Lorrie II and UnzaWV1) and fungal treatment at four levels (Trichoderma, Versicular arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM), VAM/Trichoderma and control). First phase of the experiment was isolation of VAM spores from the soil and the second phase was inoculation of wheat seeds with VAM and Trichoderma species at planting. Indigenous spores of VAM were extracted by the wet sieving and decanting technique of Gerdemann and Nicolson. The results of the study showed that VAM and Trichoderma spp significantly increased phosphorous uptake and grain yield for all wheat varieties when applied seperately. The grain yield and P uptake for all four wheat varieties was still high irrespective of the liming when wheat varieties were treated with VAM and Trichoderma species. This is due to ability by Trichoderma spp and VAM to survive and increase nutrient uptake in acidic soils. Fungal treatment increased grain yield and P uptake by 200% and 400% respectively.
Wheat , Wheat Varieties