Advances in ISSN: 2373-6402 APAR

Plants & Agriculture Research
Research Article
Volume 7 Issue 4 - 2017
Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Fungi, NPK (15-15-15) and Cow Dung Interaction in Sustainable Cassava Production and Food Security
Chukwuka KS1*, Okechukwu RU2, Umukoro BO1 and Obiakara MC1
1Department of Botany, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
2Cassava Transformation Agenda Project, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria
Received: July 24, 2017 | Published: August 22, 2017
*Corresponding author: Chukwuka KS, Department of Botany, University of Ibadan, Ibadan-Nigeria, Email:
Citation: Chukwuka KS, Okechukwu RU, Umukoro BO, Obiakara MC (2017) Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Fungi, NPK (15-15-15) and Cow Dung Interaction in Sustainable Cassava Production and Food Security. Adv Plants Agric Res 7(4): 00262. DOI: 10.15406/apar.2017.07.00262

Abstract

Increasing human population coupled with the depletion and degradation of soil resources constitutes a threat to food security in sub-Saharan Africa. Sequel to this, the growth, performance and yield of cassava (Manihot esculenta L.) were assessed using pure culture of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungus - Glomus deserticola, NPK (15:15:15) and Cow dung singly and in combination with each other at four treatment levels under field conditions. Control experiment was also set up without any treatment. The experiment was factorial, in completely randomized block design and replicated four times. Cassava stem cuttings, 18 cm length were planted in well tilled soil at a distance of 1 m apart and allowed to grow for six months. During the study; plant height, stem girth, leaf area, leaf chlorophyll content and yield were assessed. At harvest, fresh and dry tuber weights were measured. Data collected were subjected to one way analysis of variance and means separated using Tukey’s HSD test (p ≤ 0.05). The study showed that Glomus deserticola in combination with NPK produced cassava plants with significant differences (p<0.05) in height, stem girth, leaf area, chlorophyll content and yield. Arbuscular mycorrhiza fungus enhanced nutrient uptake of cassava plants. The balanced fertilization and amendment of the experimental soil with adequate nutrients supply provided useful agronomic information on the performance and yield of cassava.

SummaryAlthough some sub-Saharan African countries have for a number of year’s experienced significant agricultural success, demographic growth associated with high rates of erosion and land degradation continue to have an impact on food security in this part of the world. In this study, the growth and production of cassava (Manihot esculenta L.) was assessed by the contribution of pure culture of a mycorrhizal to arbuscules (Glomus deserticola), mineral fertilizers (NPK 15-15 -15), cow manure and their combinations. The test was carried out on plots of 1 m × 1 m. On each plot, a cut of nearly 18 cm length was buried in the previously plowed soil. The experimental method consisted of a complete random block with a factorial plan of four repetitions. An equivalent number of control plots have not been processed. Vegetative growth parameters, including height of the plant, circumference of the stem and leaf surface were followed for six months, then the chlorophyll content of the leaves and yield were determined. These data were subjected to a simple variance analysis and a Tukey HSD test was performed to determine the significant differences between averages (p ≤ 0.05). The use of Glomus deserticola in combination with NPK 15-15-15 mineral fertilizers has resulted in significant vegetative growth and yield significantly higher than other treatments. This suggests that this fungus improves the absorption of nutrients in cassava.

Keywords: Soil fertilization; Amendment; Manihot esculenta; Growth performance; Food security

Introduction

Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a woody shrub that is widely cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is propagated from stem cuttings and produces edible energy-rich tubers. Dry cassava tubers contain up to 90% carbohydrates, of which starch is dominant Montagnac et al. [1]. The importance of this crop in food security is reflected in its remarkably increasing production over the last decade. In 2014, about 270 million tonnes constituting about 54% of global production were produced in Africa FAOSTAT [2]. This crop is reputed for its remarkable tolerance to abiotic stresses due to its biochemical and physiological adaptations, intermediate C3-C4 photosynthetic pathway, reduction in leaf area index coupled with a relatively high stomatal sensitivity in response to water shortages and unaltered photosynthetic rates in nutrient-deficient soils El-Sharkawy [3]. These characteristics make it suitable for both small and large-scale cultivation with moderate agricultural inputs. However, sustainable cassava production especially in the face of both increasing reliance on fertilizers and recurring environmental issues associated with their long-term use requires exploring alternative approaches that could help meet the food demands of rapidly expanding populations. The use of organic residues in combination with mineral fertilizers is a widely accepted soil fertility management strategy Edmeades [4], Diacono et al. [5], Šimon et al. [6]. This practice is known to improve biological, chemical and physical properties of agricultural soils as opposed to the sole application of inorganic fertilizers Kotschi [7]; Mulvaney et al. [8]. In fact, consistently lower cassava yields have been recorded under sole inorganic fertilizer application compared to when organic manures are combined with inorganic fertilizers (Ayoola and Adeniyan 2006; Ojeniyi et al. [9]. For example, Ojeniyi et al. (2012) reported that combination of 2.5 t/ha of poultry manure and one quarter less the recommended amount of inorganic fertilizer (NPK 15-15-15; 600 kg/ha) led to twofold increase in yield of cassava compared to sole application of the same inorganic fertilizer at 600 kg/ha after 6 months of cultivation. Similarly, Islami et al., (2011) reported that the application of chemical fertilizers in monoculture cassava was inadequate to maintain sustained yields; but combining farm yield manure (FYM) with chemical fertilizers increased soil fertility and cassava production. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) also referred to as Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhiza (VAM) are widespread in terrestrial ecosystems and form mutually beneficial associations with nearly 80% of higher plants Smith et al. [10]. They are characterized by their intercellular and intracellular growth forms in plant roots, which are referred to as vesicles and arbuscules Böhm et al. [11]. Mycorrhizal symbioses are known to mitigate the problem of efficient uptake of immobile nutrients by plants Bolan [12]; Smith et al. [13]. Previous studies have shown that AMF are associated with salt Carretero et al. [14]. And drought tolerance Qiangsheng et al. [15]; Ruiz-Lozano et al. [16] and cassava is known to thrive under these conditions. The potentials of AMF in sustainable crop production have been demonstrated by many scholars Li et al. [17]; Céli et al., 2016; Tchabi et al. [18]. However its applicability has not been fully addressed.

Cassava tolerates low soil nutrient levels. However, this crop needs substantial fertilization to attain high yields like many other food crops Howeler [19]. Perhaps, cassava would not have been a successful crop under both fertilized and un-fertilized conditions without its dependency on mycorrhizal fungi for nutrient uptake, especially phosphate uptake Habte et al. [20]. These authors reported cassava mycorrhizal dependency (that is, the change in cassava growth due to arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization) of 60% in contrast to the much lower values (44-46%) obtained in many crop species Tawaraya [21]. Recently, Burns et al. (2012) showed that mycorrhizal dependency of cassava could reach up to 93%. This dependency is indicative of the wide variety of AMF associated with cassava roots as Glomus, Gigaspora and Acaulospora which are the most commonly reported genera Straker et al. [22]; Bi Voko et al. [23]; dos Santos Heberle et al. [24]; Begoude et al. [25]. Several species in the genus Glomus including G. manihotis Sieverding et al. [26]; G. fasciculatum, G. clarum, G. mosseae Oyetunji et al. [27]; G. deserticola Okon et al., [28]; G. intraradices Carretero et al. [29]; G. aggregatum [20] and G. etunicatum Salami et al. [30] have been tested in field studies with or without fertilization. Obviously, cassava’s poor root system architecture, a factor that is crucial in nutrient uptake and subsequent productivity in many crops Smith et al. [10].

Is a major cause of its dependency on mycorrhiza for nutrient acquisition. The beneficial effects of AMF association with cassava have been the subject of several studies. Howeler et al. [31]. Reported a significant increase in growth and dry matter content of mycorrhiza-inoculated cassava cuttings compared to non-inoculated plants, which were P-deficient even at high P soil levels, Sieverding et al. [26]. Found that N-P-K concentration ratios in cassava shoots and roots were more balanced in mycorrhiza-inoculated plants than in non-inoculated plants. In the same vein, Ceballos et al. (2013) showed that not only 20% increase in cassava yield was obtained due to addition of Rhizophagus irregulars but also a 50% reduction in phosphate fertilizer. Other beneficial effects have been reported including enhanced plantlet survival, shoot, root and tuber formation Azcón-Aguilar et al. [32]; salt damage alleviation Carretero et al. [29] and resistance to transplant stress Carretero et al. [14]. Given the growing body of evidence on the beneficial effects of AMF on cassava, the present study tested effects of AMF and its combination with organic and inorganic fertilizers to improve cassava productivity in a sustainable manner. Therefore this study hypothesized that soil inoculated with Glomus deserticola will enhance cassava growth.

Materials and Methods

Study area

This study was carried out at the Botany Research Farm, Department of Botany, University of Ibadan (7o26.44' N, 3053.76' E) between 18 July 2016 and 18 January 2017. The University has mean annual rainfall and temperature of 1316 mm and 27.6oC respectively

Soil and cow dung analyses

Soil samples were randomly taken from 0-20 cm depth before planting, bulked, air-dried and sieved using 2 mm sieve for analysis. The particle size analysis was done by pipette method Gee et al. [33]. Soil pH in water was determined using soil: water ratio of 1:2 with a glass electrode pH meter. Organic carbon was determined using Walkey and Black method (Nelson and Sommers, 1996). Total nitrogen (N) in the soil was determined by Kjedahl digestion Bremner [34]. Exchangeable bases in the samples were extracted in 1M NH4 OAC at pH 7.0. Calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) in the extract were read by atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). Sodium (Na) and potassium (K) were analyzed by flame photometry. Available phosphorus (P) was determined by Bray-1 extraction and determined colourimetrically by the molybdenum blue procedure Bray et al. [35].

Cow dung samples were air-dried and ground to powder and analysed with wet digestion method using 5:1:1 ml of HNO3: H2SO4:HClO4 acid. Total N was determined by micro–Kjeldahl method (Jackson, 1962). For P, K, Ca and Mg, samples (0.5 g) were ashed, dissolved in 10% hydrogen chloride (HCl) and diluted to 50 ml. Phosphorous was determined using vandal molybdate colorimetric. Calcium and Magnesium were determined by EDTA titration while Na and K by flame photometry. The physico-chemical properties of both soil and cow dung used were analyzed at the Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan.

Experimental design and treatment application

The experiment involved seven treatments: AMF (Glomus deserticola) 20, 30, 40 and 50g), NPK 15:15:15 40, 60, 80 and 100g; cow dung 200, 300, 400 and 500g; AMF and NPK 20 + 40, 30 + 60, 40 + 80 and 50 + 100g, AMF and cow dung 20 + 200, 30 + 300, 40 + 400, 50 + 500g, cow dung and NPK 40 + 200, 60 + 300, 80 + 400, 100 + 500g laid out in a completely randomized design (CRD) with four replicates. The soil was tilled before planting. Cassava stem cuttings (TME 419) of about 15 cm long were planted horizontally and buried completely at 5 cm depth in heaps of soil at a planting distance of 1m apart in a plot size of 14 m × 14 m. The treatments were applied two weeks after establishment. Application of NPK 15:15:15, cow dung and Glomus deserticola was done using the methods of Ojeniyi et al. [9], Mathias et al. [36] and Okon et al. [28]. Respectively, four different levels of each G. deserticola (20g, 30g, 40g and 50g); NPK 15:15:15 (40g, 60g, 80g and 100g) and cow dung (200g, 300g, 400g and 500g) were applied both singly and in combination around the growing stem cuttings.

Data collection

Data collection commenced two weeks after application of treatments and subsequently forth nightly for five months. The following growth parameters: plant height, stem girth and leaf area were determined forth nightly. Plant height (cm) and leaf area (cm2) were determined using a Measuring Tape and Portable Electronic Area Metre Model Li-3000 respectively. Stem girth was measured at 5 cm above heap level using Mitutoyo Digimatic Electronic calliper (MDEC) Model CD-8″P. The leaf chlorophyll content was determined by using the central leaf from freshly excised leaves of the same age. The excised leaf was weighed, cut into smaller pieces and stored in the dark for 24 hrs in a mixture of 10 ml of 95% ethanol and 99.5% acetone (1:1 v/v). One millilitre of the concentrated leaf extract was added to a cuvette and adjusted to 5 ml with the ethanol-acetone mixture. The Absorbance of the mixture was measured spectrophotometrically at 652 nm using a Unico spectrophotometer. This value was taken as reference by resetting the absorbance to zero and measuring that of the diluted leaf extract. Chlorophyll concentration (ml/g) was estimated using equation (1)

                                                Chlorophyll Concentration =  

Where A652 = Sample OD value (Absorbance at 652 nm)
V = Volume of the sample (ml)
W = Weight of the sample (g)

The yield data was collected six months after planting and these include fresh and dry weight of tubers. The plants were harvested and separated into roots and stems. Dry weight was determined after oven drying at 1000C for 48 hours using Ohaus Sensitive Electronic Digital Weighing Balance Model SPX2202.

Data analysis    

Data were analysed using Minitab 16 Statistical Software (2010). A one way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was carried out to test the effects of the treatments on cassava growth and development. Means were separated using Tukey’s HSD test (p≤0.05).

Results

(Table 1) shows the values of the soil physicochemical properties of the experimental site and the nutrient composition of cow dung used in the study. The soil was silt loamy and slightly acidic. Total nitrogen and Organic carbon were higher than 0.11% and 2% respectively, which are critical values for Nigerian soils Adepetu [37]. The soil was poor in Phosphorus (Available P < 10 mg/Kg) while potassium was detected in adequate amounts (Exchangeable K > 0.2 C mol (+)/Kg. Effective CEC (sum of equivalent charge concentrations of cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, K+ Na+ and Al3+) was low (i.e between 5-15 C mol (+)Kg-1),Cassava plant height (cm) The study showed significant differences in plant height from 8 weeks after establishment (WAE). Between 8 to 12WAE, three main effects were distinguished. AMF and NPK combination (30 g of AMF and 60 g of NPK) significantly enhanced plant height (133 ± 8, 145 ± 10 and 149 ± 13 cm respectively). On the other hand, sole application of cow dung did not produce plants with appreciable increase in height (57 ± 9, 71 ± 8 and 70 ± 14 cm respectively). Other treatments produced plant heights similar to the control. On the other hand, from 14WAE to 20WAE, the plants showed decreasing performance in height in the order AMFNPKL2 (30 + 60) g > NPK 100 g and CDNPKL4 (500 + 100) g > control > CD (400 g) > CD (200g) (Table 2).

Parameter

Soil

Cow Dung

pH

5.86

-

Nitrate

4.66 g/Kg

1.81%

Organic carbon

54.75 g/Kg (H)

-

Phosphate

-

0.53%

Average phosphorus

6.52 mg/Kg (L)

-

Exchangeable aluminium

0.5 C mol (+)/Kg

-

Calcium

8.86 C mol (+)/Kg

0.28%

Magnesium

0.69 C mol (+)/Kg

0.14%

Potassium

0.55 C mol (+)/Kg

1.04%

Sodium

0.18 C mol (+)/Kg

0.22%

Manganese

17.9 mg(+)/Kg

2160 mg(+)/Kg

Iron

224 mg(+)/Kg

17.5 mg(+)/Kg

Copper

1.34 mg(+)/Kg

15.05 mg(+)/Kg

Zinc

7.83 mg(+)/Kg

1625 mg(+)/Kg

Silt

1560 g/Kg

-

Clay

116 g/Kg

-

Sand

728 g/Kg

-

Table 1: Physico-chemical characteristics of the soil at the experimental site, Botany Research Farm, University of Ibadan and chemical composition of cow dung.

Treatment

8WAE

10WAE

12WAE

14WAE

16WAE

18WAE

20 WAE

Control

97.33±19.66ab

100.10±16.42ab

122.42±5.47ab

128.98±2.37abc

128.55±1.61ab

128.62±1.40abc

131.15 ± 2.38abc

AMF 20 g

85.55±16.66ab

94.70±15.66ab

100.72±17.79ab

108.35±16.38abc

114.18±14.93ab

114.25±13.64abc

115.08 ± 12.35abc

AMF 30 g

64.98 ± 5.46ab

75.08±6.74ab

82.70±6.28dab

91.78±5.26abc

89.43±5.76ab

86.45±6.35abc

86.58 ± 6.21abc

AMF 40 g

83.90±7.18ab

91.65±6.08ab

93.25±7.13ab

93.13±8.05abc

93.70±7.18ab

93.60±5.71abc

98.90 ± 7.02abc

AMF 50 g

70.10±16.37ab

78.38±14.60ab

91.13±11.52ab

97.50±9.30abc

90.78±6.00ab

99.30±9.55abc

107.22 ± 11.06abc

NPK 40 g

103.12±10.08ab

113.32±10.78ab

130.33±8.26ab

132.77±7.48abc

134.90±18.46ab

136.67±8.05abc

137.90 ± 7.60abc

NPK 60 g

113.38± 8.94ab

90.80±8.78ab

121.57±5.48ab

120.03±6.07abc

122.23±6.49ab

124.07±7.34abc

124.47±4.30abc

NPK 80 g

91.75±14.52ab

115.92±10.7 b

106.78±14.33ab

108.50±13.27abc

99.10±6.49ab

99.03±7.34abc

115.12±13.68abc

NPK 100 g

120.85±1.74ab

130.52±20.18ab

133.22±22.37ab

138.45±20.42ab

136.95±19.88ab

137.70±17.62ab

143.05± 20.88ab

CD 200 g

57.35±8.90b

70.90±7.55b

69.75±14.08b

65.15±20.68c

66.60±19.64b

65.85±18.86c

63.70 ± 18.96c

CD 300 g

63.50±14.82ab

73.08±15.03b

78.60±12.95ab

88.35±8.99abc

88.18±6.10ab

87.32±5.19abc

88.73 ± 7.25abc

CD 400 g

64.58±6.31ab

69.98±7.58b

71.63±8.99b

84.40±8.40bc

89.68±10.38ab

74.33±5.79bc

72.08 ± 7.43bc

CD 500 g

79.60±6.42ab

90.25±9.31ab

98.45±14.98ab

102.15±16.03abc

105.68±16.75ab

107.32±16.47abc

110.65 ± 16.54abc

AMFNKPL1
(20+40)g

97.15 ± 13.21ab

97.78±13.24ab

108.93±14.98ab

114.47±10.19abc

116.43±12.93ab

118.97±13.43abc

124.13 ± 13.81abc

AMFNKPL2
(30+60)g

133.22 ± 7.95a

145.42±9.62a

148.92±12.81a

159.60±13.09a

158.87±12.95a

149.70±8.24a

165.73 ± 11.96a

AMFNKPL3
(40+80)g

75.90 ± 7.87ab

106.10±9.38ab

118.70±7.81ab

123.77±7.44abc

121.70±7.83ab

120.45±8.18abc

121.12 ± 9.86abc

AMFNKPL4
(50+100)g

97.38 ± 12.54ab

110.45±13.04ab

118.72±12.94ab

124.45±11.46abc

104.42±18.63ab

118.35±11.84abc

110.28 ± 13.41abc

AMFCDL1
(20+200)g

81.73 ± 15.11ab

91.15±13.24ab

99.33±13.77ab

102.55±13.54abc

109.95±14.60ab

111.62±14.23abc

112.72 ± 14.61abc

AMFCDL2
(30+300)g

91.05 ± 12.50ab

102.48±12.14ab

108.82±16.98ab

107.12±10.78abc

95.43±4.69ab

100.09±6.01abc

96.28 ± 9.37abc

AMFCDL3
(40+400)g

102.85±15.11ab

112.18±12.87ab

106.48±17.65ab

115.55±18.14abc

118.70±14.52ab

122.50±16.97abc

130.30 ± 24.30abc

AMFCDL4
(50+500) g

66.40 ± 15.33ab

76.23±15.36ab

89.45±11.83ab

91.90± 9.18abc

90.48±8.55ab

89.00 ± 7.56abc

92.83 ± 10.37abc

CDNPKL1
(200+ 40) g

95.23 ± 8.75ab

104.73±9.77ab

113.22±14.85ab

121.00±16.82abc

116.08±20.04ab

118.50±19.56abc

122.00 ± 21.29abc

CDNPKL2
(300+ 60) g

99.33 ± 12.54ab

111.02±12.71ab

126.52±13.31ab

120.40±12.09abc

119.43±9.71ab

123.40±11.44abc

128.10 ± 12.59abc

CDNPKL3
(400+ 80) g

83.45± 22.92ab

99.95±22.53ab

110.88±23.01ab

126.88±14.89abc

123.38±21.13ab

121.80±1.01abc

117.40 ± 21.66abc

CDNPKL4
(500+100)g

110.93±14.44ab

122.83±10.99ab

136.37±6.00ab

140.80±4.32ab

115.50±3.88ab

115.37±3.86abc

122.67 ± 1.68abc

Table 2: Effects of treatments on cassava plant height (cm).

Means and standard error of the treatments separated using Tukey’s HSD (p < .05). Means with the same letter along the column are not significantly different.
AMF: Arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi;
CD: Cow dung;

WAE: Weeks after Establishment.

Cassava leaf area (cm2)

There was a general increase in leaf area from 8 -12WAE. However, from 14 - 20WAE, the leaf area showed general decrease in size. On the other hand, there were significant differences at 8 and 10WAE among treatments for plants with AMF and NPK combination (30 + 60 g) having the widest leaf areas while plants treated with cow dung (400 g) showed the least leaf area. Although at 12WAE and 16 -20WAE, no significant differences among treatments were observed. It is important to note that the interaction of AMF with any combination of treatment produced plants with big leaf areas (Table 3).

Treatment

8WAE

10WAE

12WAE

14WAE

16WAE

18WAE

20WAE

Control

150.23 ± 9.99ab

253.65±62.12ab

280.65 ±67.30a

198.10 ±26.53ab

90.16±5.67a

75.25 ± 17.12a

71.45 ± 7.58a

AMF 20 g

158.90±10.96ab

277.86±39.99ab

146.90±33.29a

164.88±20.30ab

99.39 ± 5.49a

98.79 ± 11.30a

57.99 ± 11.01a

AMF 30 g

118.91±14.45ab

164.61±29.83ab

146.96±25.50a

135.01 ± 5.23ab

84.34 ± 7.13a

65.27 ± 13.68a

48.41 ± 17.48a

AMF 40 g

126.06 ± 6.70ab

240.28±15.85ab

170.95±25.77a

119.51±13.69b

73.40±4.60a

46.49 ± 6.35a

74.43 ±7.66a

AMF 50 g

132.01±14.00ab

215.10±28.02ab

181.17±10.42a

157.34 ± 8.30ab

95.58 ± 9.99a

68.06 ± 16.36a

74.77 ± 8.82a

NPK 40 g

152.34±23.37ab

323.27±41.12ab

283.57±56.37a

178.63±54.82ab

109.57 ± 5.26a

80.21 ± 18.31a

85.42 ± 3.12a

NPK 60 g

174.94±26.22ab

334.26±9.38ab

225.37±46.52a

140.24±35.05ab

87.65 ± 4.53a

95.16±4.99a

74.11 ± 4.50a

NPK 80 g

140.68 ± 6.68ab

276.43±61.43ab

245.76±69.22a

208.81±49.33ab

69.34± 11.65a

45.72±17.23a

43.62 ± 12.44a

NPK 100 g

180.17±20.54ab

341.05±16.60ab

307.98±49.49a

245.45±40.19ab

85.77 ± 9.87a

71.65 ± 23.80a

72.75 ± 23.57a

CD 200 g

120.87±16.42ab

166.22±28.63ab

108.36±32.44a

125.38±24.52ab

96.77 ± 15.70a

68.66 ± 9.95a

88.69 ± 15.94a

CD 300 g

138.59±28.29ab

217.11±50.51ab

193.75±26.94a

149.18±11.41ab

96.88 ± 5.02a

85.11 ± 14.20a

48.91 ± 11.60a

CD 400 g

110.31± 10.26b

163.34±27.45b

127.84±16.86a

131.16 ±10.94ab

88.70 ± 11.65a

66.74 ± 14.41a

63.44 ± 19.18a

CD 500 g

152.62±18.10ab

217.10±36.35ab

203.99±47.20a

134.81 ±19.10ab

91.51 ± 13.93a

65.51 ± 7.07a

102.22 ± 32.77a

AMFNKPL1
(20+40) g

186.48±13.92ab

251.47±39.32ab

182.11±20.21a

169.85±13.38ab

71.92 ± 2.46a

61.71 ± 18.25a

82.02 ± 2.31a

AMFNKPL2
(30+60) g

227.50±30.98a

405.18±34.67a

349.06±39.69a

341.50 ± 1.45a

61.8 ± 39.0a

59.83 ± 28.26a

61.38 ± 16.74a

AMFNKPL3
(40+80) g

161.87±12.57ab

284.93±38.60ab

215.56±33.08a

184.55 ± 9.70ab

83.04 ± 6.23a

61.36 ± 15.47a

71.59 ± 11.56a

AMFNKPL4
(50+100) g

159.06±1.98ab

228.64±53.12ab

233.76±39.67a

212.17±16.16ab

113.57 ± 6.70a

49.92 ± 14.32a

63.39 ± 19.99a

AMFCDL1
(20+200) g

131.67±21.99ab

212.86±59.60ab

175.14±64.11a

188.33±66.55ab

104.90 ± 7.60a

89.51 ± 14.12a

62.28 ± 12.71a

AMFCDL2
(30+300) g

175.92±20.74ab

227.97±51.84ab

205.86±52.05a

137.08±28.09ab

76.49 ± 8.02a

58.97 ± 6.78a

33.44 ± 8.43a

AMFCDL3
(40+400) g

172.03±14.94ab

282.84±57.02ab

237.23±69.31a

217.81±46.00ab

81.87 ± 21.65a

95.27 ± 9.39a

73.75 ± 13.04a

AMFCDL4
(50+500)g

138.90±20.62ab

208.48±37.82ab

190.26±33.90a

132.88±12.73ab

79.42 ± 5.86a

64.16 ± 10.15a

60.45 ± 4.87a

CDNPKL1
(200+40)g

158.05 ± 6.91ab

308.21±19.76ab

242.42±49.45a

205.83±62.75ab

83.41 ± 14.06a

70.43 ± 13.35a

49.98 ± 16. 07a

CDNPKL2
(300+60) g

154.62±19.24ab

322.37±60.63ab

272.03±59.67a

150.32±10.35ab

96.22 ± 19.71a

111.28±24.52a

101.01 ± 18.26a

CDNPKL3
(400+80) g

151.10±52.28ab

280.98±56.74ab

287.94±72.75a

224.69±31.31ab

104.38 ± 3.22a

110.80±15.63a

90.44 ± 4.04a

CDNPKL4
(500+ 100) g

212.93±25.73ab

323.77±64.52ab

353.08±44.78 a

247.58±20.48ab

85.15 ± 2.38a

84.71 ± 16.00a

82.76 ± 12.94a

Table 3: Effects of treatments on cassava leaf area (cm2).

Means with the same letter along the column are not significantly different.
AMF: Arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi;
CD: Cow dung;
WAE: Weeks After Establishment.

Cassava stems girth (mm)

Significant differences in plant stem girth were observed from 10-20 WAE. The combination of AMF and inorganic fertilizer (30 g of AMF and 60 g of NPK) produced plants with the largest stem girth while plants treated with cow dung (200 g) produced the least girth. Stem girth showed similar growth pattern throughout the period of study (Table 4).

Treatment

10WAE

12WAE

14WAE

16WAE

18WAE

20WAE

Control

14.83 ± 1.89ab

17.13 ± 0.62ab

17.08 ± 0.44ab

17.48 ± 0.60ab

17.48 ± 0.64ab

17.10 ± 0.54ab

AMF 20 g

14.97 ± 1.53ab

15.40 ± 1.75ab

16.24 ± 1.75ab

15.87 ± 1.61ab

15.67 ± 2.17ab

16.16 ± 1.29ab

AMF 30 g

12.55 ± 0.88b

12.80 ± 0.69ab

12.46 ± 0.57ab

13.10 ± 0.60ab

12.78 ± 0.80ab

12.76 ± 0.63ab

AMF 40 g

15.40 ± 1.06ab

15.06 ± 0.97ab

15.36 ± 0.57ab

15.20 ± 1.05ab

15.37 ± 0.38ab

15.39 ± 0.60ab

AMF 50 g

13.12 ± 1.92ab

13.81 ± 1.90ab

14.85 ± 1.20ab

13.94 ± 1.08ab

14.68 ± 1.28ab

13.66 ± 1.04ab

NPK 40 g

17.15 ± 1.22ab

17.90 ± 0.98ab

17.99 ± 2.15ab

18.45 ± 1.23ab

18.66 ± 1.16ab

18.09 ± 1.50ab

NPK 60 g

17.01 ± 0.86ab

17.04 ± 0.43ab

17.92 ± 0.70ab

18.13 ± 0.65ab

18.07 ± 0.67ab

17.70 ± 0.14ab

NPK 80 g

15.53 ± 1.51ab

14.78 ± 1.45ab

15.09 ± 1.27ab

13.42 ± 0.75ab

14.69 ± 1.37ab

14.94 ± 1.25ab

NPK 100 g

17.33 ± 1.98ab

17.25 ± 2.05ab

17.53 ± 2.25ab

18.14 ± 2.05ab

17.39 ± 2.09ab

17.51 ± 2.21ab

CD 200 g

11.83 ± 1.00b

12.32 ± 1.44b

10.72 ± 2.48b

10.92 ± 2.26b

10.70 ± 2.18b

10.28 ± 2.19b

CD 300 g

13.14 ± 1.21ab

13.95 ± 1.02ab

13.85 ± 1.26ab

14.46 ± 0.68ab

14.46 ± 0.57ab

14.39 ± 0.68ab

CD 400 g

13.02 ± 1.29ab

12.47 ± 1.28b

13.32 ± 1.66ab

13.01 ± 1.43ab

12.45 ± 1.65b

12.82 ± 1.53ab

CD 500 g

14.99 ± 0.63ab

15.01 ± 0.83ab

15.84 ± 1.17ab

16.16 ± 1.28ab

15.93 ± 1.19ab

15.14 ± 1.64ab

AMFNKPL1
(20+40) g

16.57 ± 2.38ab

16.31 ± 2.05ab

16.51 ± 2.13ab

17.40 ± 1.63ab

16.65 ± 1.70ab

16.42 ± 1.99ab

AMFNKPL2
(30+60) g

20.72 ± 1.61a

20.14 ± 1.43a

20.76 ± 1.80a

21.08 ± 1.89a

21.19 ± 1.56a

20.87 ± 1.93a

AMFNKPL3
(40+80) g

16.27 ± 1.70ab

17.61 ± 1.00ab

17.69 ± 0.87ab

17.86 ± 0.88ab

17.71 ± 0.69ab

17.84 ± 0.69ab

AMFNKPL4
(50+100) g

15.77 ± 1.06ab

16.54 ± 1.18ab

16.53 ± 1.06ab

16.71 ± 0.99ab

17.06 ± 1.17ab

16.16 ± 1.24ab

AMFCDL1
(20 + 200) g

14.09 ± 1.68ab

13.90 ± 1.77ab

15.34 ± 1.55ab

14.73 ± 2.12ab

14.32 ± 1.63ab

14.50 ± 1.61ab

AMFCDL2
(30 + 300) g

15.10 ± 1.15ab

15.27 ± 0.80ab

14.85 ± 1.08ab

14.63 ± 0.79ab

15.75 ± 0.72ab

14.57 ± 1.22ab

AMFCDL3
(40 + 400) g

16.09 ± 1.08ab

15.62 ± 1.94ab

15.80 ± 1.82ab

16.54 ± 1.86ab

16.38 ± 1.73ab

15.78 ± 2.31ab

AMFCDL4
(50+500)g

13.67 ± 1.64ab

14.11 ± 1.20ab

13.64 ± 0.69ab

13.79 ± 0.68ab

13.82 ± 0.78ab

13.86 ± 0.94ab

CDNPKL1
(200+40)g

16.54 ± 0.90ab

16.91 ± 1.46ab

17.17 ± 1.74ab

17.41 ± 1.86ab

17.52 ± 1.97ab

17.58 ± 2.15ab

CDNPKL2
(300+60) g

16.65 ± 1.22ab

17.40 ± 1.23ab

16.69 ± 0.81ab

16.74 ± 0.85ab

17.75 ± 2.46ab

16.71 ± 0.97ab

CDNPKL3
(400+80) g

16.27 ± 2.60ab

16.68 ± 2.44ab

15.88 ± 2.43ab

17.38 ± 2.15ab

16.97 ± 2.09ab

17.34 ± 2.15ab

CDNPKL4
(500+100) g

18.32 ± 1.21ab

18.47 ± 0.52ab

19.29 ± 0.65a

14.09 ± 2.11ab

16.76 ± 2.94ab

15.99 ± 2.83ab

Table 4: Effects of treatments on cassava stems girth (mm).

Means and standard error of the treatments separated using Tukey’s HSD (p < .05). Means with the same letter along the column are not significantly different.
AMF: Arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi;
CD: Cow dung;
WAE: Weeks after Establishment.

Cassava leaf chlorophyll content (ml/g)

The effects of different treatments on the leaf chlorophyll content at 10 weeks after planting and establishment of the plants are represented in Figure 1. The mean chlorophyll concentration was highest in the combined application of inorganic fertilizer and G. derserticola (0.1825 ± 0.0007 ml/g) and lowest with cow dung in combination with G. derserticola. Chlorophyll in plants treated with sole NPK was next (0.15497 ± 0.000246 ml/g) after the combined application of G. deserticola and NPK. Cow dung, G. deserticola and the control treatments had similar effect on leaf chlorophyll content with concentrations of 0.0909 ± 0.0006, 0.0922 ± 0.0005 and 0.0925± 0.0004 ml/g respectively (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Effects of treatment on the cassava leaf chlorophyll content (ml/g).

AMF: Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Fungi
CD: Cow Dung
NPK: Inorganic Nitrogen: Phosphorus: Potassium fertilizer (15:15:15).

Yield

(Figure 2) represents the fresh cassava weight obtained from the different treatments. Significant differences were observed among the treatments. As in other growth parameters, the highest yield was obtained in cassava treated with the mixture of 30 g of G. deserticola and 60 g of NPK (0.87 ± 0.07 Kg) while the lowest yield was observed in all the cow dung treatments. The control (0.23 ± 0.05 Kg) was comparable to all other treatments. The figure also show that dry weight of the tubers follow the same pattern as the fresh weight with the combined AMF-NPK (30 g+60 g) producing the highest dry weight (0.17± 0.01 Kg) while cow dung (300 g) alone produced the lowest tuber dry weight (0.008±0.006 Kg).

Figure 2: Effects of treatments on cassava yield.

AMF: Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Fungi
CD: Cow Dung
NPK: Inorganic Nitrogen: Phosphorus: Potassium fertilizer (15:15:15).

Discussion

Several researchers have demonstrated the beneficial effects of mycorrhizal inoculation on growth and yield of cassava Douds et al. [38]; Carretero et al. [14]; Séry et al. [39]. However, the combination of AMF and organic/inorganic fertilizers has not been adequately investigated. The results of this study suggest that G. deserticola inoculation in combination with inorganic fertilizer application at the rate of (30g and 60g respectively) has beneficial effects on all the growth parameters studied. In this study, leaf chlorophyll content was a good indicator of growth and this was reflected in the yield of the cassava plants studied. Ekanayake et al. [24], reported that soil inoculated with 10g of Glomus clarum and G. mosseae enhanced chlorophyll production in young cassava plants, with the former species supporting more chlorophyll synthesis than the later. Howeler et al. [31], reported an increase in cassava growth under different combinations of P input with AMF as opposed to the sole application of AMF. Most of the soils supporting cassava cultivation in the south-western region of the Nigeria are P deficient thereby underscoring the need for strategies for sustainable soil fertility techniques Salami et al. [40]. The physico-chemical properties of the experimental soil do not differ considerably from those reported by these authors.

Arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi are crucial component of the soil ecosystem that enhances nutrient uptake and absorption Bolan, [12]. The increase in growth attributes recorded in this study could be as a result of these processes. Similarly, Sieverding et al. [26], opined that mycorrhiza inoculation enhanced nutrient uptake in the shoot of cassava compared to non-inoculated plants. In this study, G. deserticola inoculation enhanced the growth and yield of cassava therefore supports reduced inorganic fertilizers inputs. This result compares favourably with previous studies on the effects of mycorrhizal inoculations on cassava growth. Ceballos et al. (2013) showed that Rhizophagus irregularis inoculation produced 20% increase in cassava yield and 50% reduction in phosphate fertilizer. Similarly Sridevi et al. [41], studying the response of cassava to Glomus fasciculatum inoculation at increased NPK levels reported that yield attributes, like number of tubers, tuber yield were optimal under increased NPK and AMF application. In the present study, inoculation of G. deserticola enhanced the performance and yield the cassava plants studied [42-44].

Conclusion

The cassava variety TME 419 used in this study responded positively to G. deserticola inoculation in combination with inorganic fertilization. This finding indicates the potentials of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi as a biological agent for sustainable agriculture.

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