Biological System for Improving the Availability of Tilemsi Phosphate Rock for Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Cultivated in Mali
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The Tilemsi phosphate rock (TPR) of Mali is a good and cheaper alternative to imported phosphate fertilizers. Many soil microorganisms can also mobilize sparingly soluble inorganic phosphates, and several have a good potential to improve plant growth. With the aim of improving the response of wheat cultivated in Mali to fertilization with TPR, in this work we describe the isolation and selection from four different Malian soils of TPR-solubilizing microorganisms (TSM) with high P-mobilization activities. When the rhizosphere of three wheat cultivars (Alkama Beri, Hindi Tossom and Tetra) was used to isolate TSM, only bacterial isolates were selected. TPR-solubilizing fungi were only obtained by soil enrichment in liquid medium containing TPR as sole P source. In the rhizosphere a significant correlation was observed between the total microbial population and the number of microorganisms solubilizing TPR. No such correlation was observed in the rhizoplane. Initially 44 bacteria and 18 fungi were selected, but after 10 subcultures on agar plates and a liquid medium, only 6 bacteria and 2 fungi retained their high P solubilizing trait. A field inoculation trial was established during the growing season 2000–2001 in Koygour. Wheat cv. Tetra was inoculated with the 8 selected TSM (6 bacteria and 2 fungi) and fertilized with 30 kg ha−1 P added as TPR or diammonium phosphate (DAP). The growth parameters measured were plant height at 30 and 60 days, the number of leaves per main stem at 60 days, and root and shoot dry matter yields 60 days after planting. Root colonization by indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizas (AM) was also measured in 45-day-old plants. Significant interactions were observed between TSM inoculation and P-fertilization for root colonization with AM, plant height at 30 days and root dry matter yield. The bacterial isolate Pseudomonas sp. BR2, which appeared to be a mycorrhiza helper bacterium, significantly enhanced wheat seedling emergence very early (5 days after planting) under field condition, and caused 128% increase in root dry matter yield. The two TPR-solubilizing fungal isolates Aspergillus awamori Nakazawa C1 and Penicillium chrysogenum Thom C13 also caused respectively 60 and 44% increases in root dry matter yields. The choice of the TSM BR2, C1 and C13 for further field trials is discussed.
KeywordsAspergillus awamori Mycorrhiza helper bacteria Penicillium chrysogenum Phosphate solubilizing microorganisms Plant growth promotion Pseudomonas sp.
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