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Open AccessArticle

Physiological Beneficial Effect of Rhizophagus intraradices Inoculation on Tomato Plant Yield under Water Deficit Conditions

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Department of Sustainable Crop Production, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 84, 29122 Piacenza, Italy
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Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, University of Torino, Viale P.A. Mattioli 25, 10125 Torino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10010071
Received: 31 October 2019 / Revised: 12 December 2019 / Accepted: 31 December 2019 / Published: 3 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Irrigation)
Increasing drought, under current climate change scenarios, will reduce the sustainability of tomato cultivation in the Mediterranean region. The present study evaluates the effect of Rhizophagus intraradices inoculation on tomato plant physiology and yield in response to progressive water deficit conditions. Two commercial products (Prod1 and Prod2) containing only R. intraradices were tested at two different concentrations (1% and 5% of the substrate volume) using three methods of inoculation: (a) mixed to substrate, (b) dissolved in water, (c) spread on seedlings root blocks before transplant. The highest mycorrhization of root fragments (F%) was found with Prod2 at 1% w/w at 40 days after sowing (DAS); this product was therefore used in a second experiment to inoculate tomato plants and test their physiological response to progressive water deficit induced withholding irrigation. Phenology, plant height, stem diameter, chlorophyll content and fluorescence, whole canopy gas exchange, biomass production and partitioning and phosphorus content were investigated in inoculated and not inoculated tomato plants under well-watered and water stressed conditions. Vegetative period and plant height were shorter in inoculated than in control plants; moreover, inoculation with R. intraradices increased fruit production by enhancing chlorophyll content under water stress condition, PS2 efficiency, ETR, Fv/Fm, net photosynthetic rate and whole canopy WUE. View Full-Text
Keywords: tomato; arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; progressive water deficit; whole canopy gas exchange; net photosynthetic rate; water use efficiency; threshold of fraction of transportable soil water; ETR tomato; arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; progressive water deficit; whole canopy gas exchange; net photosynthetic rate; water use efficiency; threshold of fraction of transportable soil water; ETR
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Fracasso, A.; Telò, L.; Lanfranco, L.; Bonfante, P.; Amaducci, S. Physiological Beneficial Effect of Rhizophagus intraradices Inoculation on Tomato Plant Yield under Water Deficit Conditions. Agronomy 2020, 10, 71.

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