Response of Tissue Cultured Giant Cavendish Banana to Inoculation with Kenyan Isolates of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

Robinson Jalang’o Juma Jalang’o Juma


Mycorrhization of tissue cultured bananas is known to improve their growth andestablishment under field conditions. Studies were carried out to evaluate the effects ofinoculating tissue cultured Giant Cavendish banana with Kenyan isolates and Glomusetunicatum. Performance of inoculated plants in conventional nursery medium andsterile sand was also evaluated. A crude inoculum comprising of about 400 spores in 20g soil was put into each tray cell during the weaning phase of tissue cultured bananaplantlets. The content of each cell was emptied into a polythene sleeve containing 800 gof the respective medium eight weeks after inoculation. The experiment was laid out inSplit-plot Design in the screenhouse. Plant growth parameters including height, numberof leaves, leaf length and width were measured on a weekly basis for four months. Fourdestructive samples were taken at monthly intervals beginning at eight weeks afterinoculation. Shoot and root fresh and dry weights, leaf surface area, number of sporesper 100 g of medium and plant tissue nutrient analysis was assessed at each samplingstage. Results showed that indigenous isolates enhanced growth and nutrient uptakemore uniformly in both media. Glomus etunicatum enhanced growth and nutrient uptakebetter than the indigenous isolates for plants established in conventional nurserymedium. However, the isolate was less effective in sterile sand medium than indigenousisolates. Root colonisation had a direct impact on uptake of the three primary elements(N, P, and K) analysed. It is therefore evident that Glomus etunicatum is morepreferable for inoculating tissue cultured bananas in conventional medium whereas theindigenous isolates can perform satisfactorily in both media.


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