2021-12-28Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/plants11010089
Physiological and Morphological Responses of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) to Rhizoglomus irregulare Inoculation under Ample Water and Drought Stress Conditions Are Cultivar Dependent
Okra is an important crop species for smallholder farmers in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Its interaction with mycorrhiza has been rarely studied, and little is known about its mycorrhizal dependency, especially under drought stress. In a glasshouse experiment, we investigated the effect of Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Fungi (AMF) inoculation on growth, evapotranspiration, mineral nutrition and root morphology of five okra cultivars under ample water and drought stress conditions. ‘Khartoumia’, ‘HSD6719’, ‘HSD7058’, ‘Sarah’ and ‘Clemson Spineless’-cultivars commonly used by farmers in Sudan were chosen for their geographical, morphological and breeding background variations. The plants were either inoculated with R. irregulare or mock-inoculated. Seven weeks after seeding, the soil–water content was either maintained at 20% w/w or reduced to 10% w/w to impose drought stress. Drought stress resulted in plant P deficiency and decreased shoot dry biomass (DB), especially in HSD7058 and Clemson Spineless (69% and 56% decrease in shoot DB, in the respective cultivars). Plant inoculation with AMF greatly enhanced the shoot total content of P and the total DB in all treatments. The mycorrhizal dependency (MD)—the degree of total plant DB change associated with AM colonization—differed among the cultivars, irrespective of the irrigation treatment. Key determinants of MD were the root phenotype traits. Khartoumia (with the highest MD) had the lowest root DB, root-to-shoot ratio, and specific root length (SRL). Meanwhile, HSD6719 (with the lowest MD) had the highest respective root traits. Moreover, our data suggest a relationship between breeding background and MD. The improved cultivar Khartoumia showed the highest MD compared with the wild-type Sarah and the HSD7058 and HSD6719 landraces (higher MD by 46%, 17% and 32%, respectively). Interestingly, the drought-affected HSD7058 and Clemson Spineless exhibited higher MD (by 27% and 15%, respectively) under water-deficiency compared to ample water conditions. In conclusion, the mediation of drought stress in the okra plant species by AMF inoculation is cultivar dependent. The presence of AMF propagules in the field soil might be important for increasing yield production of high MD and drought susceptible cultivars, especially under drought/low P environments.
Files in this item