Effect of two AMF life strategies on the tripartite symbiosis with Bradyrhizobium japonicum and soybean
This study is the first in assessing the effect of soil disturbance on the contribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) with different life-history strategies to the tripartite symbiosis with soybeans and Bradyrhizobium japonicum (Kirchner) Jordan. We hypothesized that Gigaspora margarita Becker and Hall would be more affected by soil disturbance than Glomus clarum Nicol. and Schenck, and consequently, the tripartite symbiosis would develop more rapidly and lead to greater N2 fixation in the presence of the latter. Soil pasteurization allowed the establishment of treatments with individual AMF species and soil disturbance enabled the development of contrasting root colonization potentials. In contrast, the colonization potential of B. japonicum was kept the same in all treatments. Soil disturbance significantly reduced root colonization by both AMF, with Gi. margarita being considerably more affected than G. clarum. Furthermore, the tripartite symbiosis progressed faster with G. clarum, and at 10 days after plant emergence, there was 30% more nodules when G. clarum was present compared to that when the bacterial symbiont alone was present. At flowering, the absence of soil disturbance stimulated N2 fixation by 17% in mycorrhizal plants. However, this response was similar for both AMF.