Mycorrhizal growth and phosphorus responses of tomato differ with source but not application rate of phosphorus fertilisers

Hue T.T. Ngo, Stephanie J. Watts-Williams, Timothy R. Cavagnaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Phosphorus (P) can be added to the soil from various sources (e.g., chemical fertilisers and organic materials), and P fertilisation affects mycorrhizal colonisation and function in plants. While arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis is an integral part of most crop plants, there is a gap in understanding mycorrhizal growth and nutrition responses in relation to different sources of P at similar and variable application rates. Here we explore the impacts of different P sources (solely inorganic, mixed, or solely P-rich organic material), applied at three P application rates, on plant growth, nutrition and mycorrhizal responses. Tomato plants (arbuscular mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants) were grown in a soil amended with 10, 20 and 40 mg P kg−1. We found that the solely inorganic P source affected mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants differently to the solely P-rich organic source, as did the combination of the two, even with P application rates matched between different sources. The solely inorganic P source consistently favoured mycorrhizal plants, whereas mycorrhizal plants performed less successfully than non-mycorrhizal plants in the solely P-rich organic source. However, mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants responded equally in the soil where the mixed P source was added. The results indicated that blending inorganic and organic P sources could be used to mitigate negative effects of AMF on plant growth and P nutrition compared to using solely P-rich organic material.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104089
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • Organic amendment
  • Phosphorus sources
  • Plant nutrition
  • Solanum lycopersicum L.
  • Sustainable agriculture


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