Performance of the root system of tomato plants inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and submitted to the grafting technique
Information about the combined use of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in grafted horticultural crops are scarce, as is the case of tomato. Therefore, we investigated if the association between AMF and the grafting technique modifies the performance of the root system of tomato plants grown on substrate. The treatments, outlined in a two-factorial scheme, were absence of inoculation and two inoculants of AMF (Rhizophagus clarus and mycorrhizal community) inserted in grafted and non-grafted tomato plants. The experiment was designed entirely at random, with five replications. The evaluations in the root system of the plants were carried out at 30 and 120 days after transplantation (DAT). Grafted plants evaluated at 30 DAT showed greater mycorrhizal colonization when cultivated with R. clarus. However, in the 120 DAT evaluation, the greatest mycorrhizal colonization was observed in non-grafted plants produced with the mycorrhizal community. At 120 DAT, the plants produced with the mycorrhizal community showed a more developed root system in relation to non-mycorrhized plants. The root system of plants non-grafted at 120 DAT was more robust when compared to grafted plants. In conclusion, the AMF-grafting interface interferes in the mycorrhizal colonization of the root system of tomato plants. The grafting technique does not improve the development of the root system. The inoculation of tomato plants with the mycorrhizal community enhances the development of roots at 120 DAT.
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