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Aims: To assess the potential impacts of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) (G. geosporum) inoculation on the survival of A. esculentus under drought stress.
Study Design: This experiment was set up in a completely randomized design (CRD) with all treatments replicated thrice. This gave a total of 7 treatments, 21 replicates.
Place and Duration of Study: The experimental soil used for this study was collected from the Botanical Garden of the Department of Biological Sciences, Ritman University (Latitude 5º11’44ºN and Longitude 7º42’12ºE), Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. All analysis was carried out in Soil Science Laboratory and Botany Laboratory, Akwa Ibom State University, between January and march 2019.
Methodology: Soil samples were analyzed following the standard procedures outlined for wet acid digestions. Growth parameters were determined using standard methods. At Leaf chlorophyll meter was employed in the assessment of the photosynthetic pigments of the experimental plant. Biomass yield were calculated using standard formulas.
Results: The physicochemical analysis of the experimental soil used in this study revealed the physical and chemical properties of the soil; pH (6.12), EC (0.06dS/m), organic matter (2.90%), Av. P (44.62 mg/kg) and textural class of the soil was described as loamy sandy soil. Shoot length, petiole length, internode length, number of leaves and leaf area as well as the total photosynthetic pigments (TPP) contents of A. esculentus were significantly (P =.05) reduced (from 38.77±3.01 mg/kg to 29.83±1.89 mg/kg) by drought stress. There was also significantly (P = .05) reduction in N, P, K, Ca and Mg composition of A. esculentus as well as its biomass yield. However, the inoculation of A. esculentus roots with AMF (G. geosporum) in this study through several morphological and physiological processes exhibited remarkable improvement in growth morphology, total photosynthetic pigments, macronutrients composition as well as biomass yield.
Conclusion: The results of this work have shown that AMF can enhance the ability of A. esculentus to resist drought stress possibly through some morphological and physiological changes which improves water and nutrients uptake.
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