bark contains phytochemical compounds used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer. It has been shown that this plant establishes association with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). AMF are involved in nutrient uptake, which may also affect plant growth and secondary metabolites composition. However, there is no information regarding the role of AMF in the growth and phytochemical content of P. africana
. A pot experiment was carried out to assess the response of 8 months old vegetatively propagated P. africana
seedlings inoculated with indigenous AMF collected from Mount Cameroon (MC) and Mount Manengumba (MM) in Cameroon, Malava near Kakamega (MK) and Chuka Tharaka-Nithi (CT) in Kenya. Mycorrhizal (frequency, abundance and intensity), growth (height, shoot weight, total weight, number of leaf, leaf surface) and phytochemical (total phenol, tannin and flavonoids) parameters were measured three months after growth of seedlings from two provenances (Muguga and Chuka) with the following inoculation treatments: MK, CT, MC, MM, non-sterilized soil (NS) and sterilized sand as non-inoculated control. Results showed that seedling heights were significantly increased by inoculation and associated with high root colonization (>80%) compared to non-inoculated seedlings. We also found that AMF promoted leaf formation, whereas inoculation did not have any effect on the seedling total weight. AMF inoculum from MM had a higher tannin content, while no significant difference was observed on the total phenol and flavonoid contents due to AMF inoculation. Pearson’s correlation was positive between mycorrhizal parameters and the growth parameters, and negative with phytochemical parameters. This study is the first report on the effect of AMF on the growth and phytochemical in P. africana
. Further investigations are necessary to determine the effect of single AMF strains to provide better understanding of the role of AMF on the growth performance and physiology of this important medicinal plant species.
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