Mycorrhiza Technology for Staple Food Crop Production in

Small-Scale Sustainable Agriculture in China

The key activities involve:
  • Isolation and identification of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from north, central and south regions of China. Germplasm will be conserved in a chinese Stock Centre without walls and taxonomic molecular diversity of isolates will be evaluated. An on-line database with allocation of internationally-recognised codes will be set up to register isolates.

  • Characterisation of isolates from the Stock Centre for their symbiotic effectiveness with targeted crop plants (sweet potato, maize, cassava). Ecophysiological attributes and stability under different conditions will be evaluated. These studies will provide the necessary information for selection of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi for field applications.

  • Evaluation of the persistence of inoculated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in roots and soils, and of their competition with fungal populations in field sites. Molecular techniques will be developed to determine the complexity of fungal populations colonising field crops, and to monitor inoculated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi using taxon-specific probes.

  • Controlled inoculation with selected arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of sweet potato, maize and cassava in small farms in north, central and south China. High quality inoculum, produced on a large scale by a chinese SME, will be introduced by farmers into traditional production systems for local crop varieties. Evaluation of inoculation efficiency will include persistence of introduced fungi, soil phosphate utilisation, and cost-effective gain from crop yields.

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