Influence of Arbuscular Mycorrhizae on Callusing and Root Colonization of Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Clones in Kenya
Gweyi-Onyango, Joseph P.
Korir, Nicholas K.
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Mycorrhizal fungi are a major component of the soil micro flora in many ecosystems, but usually have limited saprophytic abilities. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are an important component of soil life and soil chemistry. In soil, phosphorus may be present in relatively large amounts, but much of it is poorly available because of the very low solubility of phosphates by formation of complexes with iron, aluminum, and calcium, leading to soil solution concentrations of 10μm or less and very low mobility. Tea is a major income earner in the country, but yields are declining since high yielding tea varieties have a major problem with rooting and take so long in the nursery. The current study was initiated to investigate the role between Mycorrhizae and plants to explain rooting and growth rates during early stages of tea establishment. It was conducted at James Finlay in Kericho County, Kenya. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with factorial arrangements. Phosphorus treatments consisted of a standard rate of 107.66kg ha -1 , two clones of the tea (S15/10 and SC 12/28) and two mycorrhizal strains (Glomus mosseae and Glomus intraradices) plus one control without mycorrhizae. Data was collected on rate of callusing, chlorophyll content and rate of root infection by mycorrhizal fungus. Application of 50kg Mycorrhizae ha-1 exhibited the highest callusing rate on clone SC 15/10 with significant differences (P≤0.05) observed on the chlorophyll content from week 1 to week 30 where the standard application of phosphorus plus 50kg Mycorrhizae ha-1 on clone S 15/10 had the highest content consistently throughout the trial. The highest frequency of mycorrhizae colonization in the rhizosphere was observed when 70kg ha-1 was added under clone SC 12/28. AMF strains are recommended for use on tea propagation in improving callusing rate and the chlorophyll content at a rate of 50kg Mycorrhizae ha-1