Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Mycorrhizal effects on growth and nutrition of tomato under elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide

Timothy R. Cavagnaro A C , Shannon K. Sokolow B and Louise E. Jackson B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia.

B Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616-8627, USA.

C Corresponding author. Email: tim.cavagnaro@sci.monash.edu.au

Functional Plant Biology 34(8) 730-736 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP06340
Submitted: 22 December 2006  Accepted: 19 April 2007   Published: 23 July 2007

Abstract

Arbuscular mycorrhizas are predicted to be important in defining plant responses to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations. A mycorrhiza-defective tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) mutant with reduced mycorrhizal colonisation (rmc) and its mycorrhizal wild-type progenitor (76R MYC+) were grown under ambient and elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (eCO2) in a controlled environment chamber-based pot study. Plant growth, nutrient contents and mycorrhizal colonisation were measured four times over a 72-day period. The 76R MYC+ plants generally had higher concentrations of P, N and Zn than their rmc counterparts. Consistent with earlier studies, mycorrhizal colonisation was not affected by eCO2. Growth of the two genotypes was very similar under ambient CO2 conditions. Under eCO2 the mycorrhizal plants initially had higher biomass, but after 72 days, biomass was lower than for rmc plants, suggesting that in this pot study the costs of maintaining carbon inputs to the fungal symbiont outweighed the benefits with time.

Additional keywords: climate change, elevated CO2, mycorrhiza mutant, mycorrhizas, Solanum lycopersicum.


Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Professor Sally Smith (University of Adelaide) and Dr Susan Barker (University of Western Australia), for allowing continued access to the rmc tomato mutant/wild-type system. This work would not have possible without the ongoing support of our farmer cooperators Jim and Deborah Durst. Thanks also to Mr Ryan O’Dell for performing C and N analyses on plant tissue, and to various members of the Jackson laboratory for valuable discussions and technical assistance. Finally, thank you to Professor F. Andrew Smith, Professor Sally Smith and Dr Vanessa Carne-Cavagnaro for valuable comments on an earlier version of this manuscript, and to the two anonymous reviewers of this manuscript for their comments. This research was funded by the United States Department of Agriculture National Research Initiative Soils and Soil Biology Program (2004–03329).


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