Biotech Updates

Fungus Inoculation Increases Zinc Availability in Field Grown Maize

July 9, 2014

Zinc availability in maize grains is commonly low and can cause malnutrition. Hence, a new biological strategy is being tested by scientists from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. They aim to solve this problem  through the use of mycorrhizal fungal inoculation in field grown maize.

To evaluate the effect of the fungal inoculation, three levels of Zinc (Zn) fertilizer and two levels of Phosphorus (P) fertilizer were applied to two maize lines; one with the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus intraradices (AMF+) and one without the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF-).

AMF+ plants had significantly higher root length and volume, leaf area and chlorophyll concentrations regardless of P or Zn fertilization. The response to AMF inoculation was also found to be higher at lower levels of Zn fertilization. Maize grains of AMF+ plants had higher Zn and tryptophan concentrations in comparison to AMF- plants. The plant available Zn concentration in soil had a highly significant correlation with Zn content in roots, shoots and grains.

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