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Influence of Biochar Application and AMF Inoculation on Root Colonization and Selected Soil Chemical Properties

Screen house experiment was carried out in 2013-2014 at Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. to investigate the effects of biochar application and arbuscularmycorrhizal (AM) inoculation to tomato genotype on 1) AM root colonizationand 2) selected soil chemical properties The experiment was laid out in a 2 × 5 × 2 factorial, fitted into a completely randomized design with three replications. The studies factors included tomato genotypes (Ex-Lafia and Ex-Lokoja), biochar application (0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 t ha-1) and AMF (with and without AMF).Data were subjected to analysis of variance and significant means separated using Duncan’s Multiple Range Test (P<0.05). Mycorrhizal inoculation influenced AM root colonization, and the addition of mycorrhizal had higher values (51.33%) when compared with non mycorrhizal pots (10.17%). Mycorrhizal inoculation had little or no influence on soil pH, organic carbon and available P. Biochar application generally increased AM root colonization, soil pH and available P when compared with control. The 20 t ha-1 of biochar application had improved soil properties as compared to other biochar rates. It is concluded that AMF inoculation in biochar amended soil is important. It is therefore, recommended that field studies should be done to upscale the current screen house conclusion to the field condition, and quantitatively confirm the optimum application rate for enhanced AM root colonization and soil chemical characteristics.

Author(s): Yusif SA*, Hayatu NG

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