U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



Published in JOURNAL OF PLANT NUTRITION, 25(8), 1753–1772 (2002).


Plants commonly encounter deficient and=or toxic levels of mineral elements when grown in acidic soil, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have potential to overcome many of these effects. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) was grown in acidic Lily soil (Typic Hapludult) at pHCa 4 and 5 (soil : 10mM CaCl2, 1 : 1) and inoculated with Glomus (G.) clarum, G. diaphanum, G. etunicatum, G. intraradices, Gigaspora (Gi.) albida, Gi. margarita, Gi. rosea, and Acaulospora (A.) morrowiae to determine differences among mycorrhizal (AM) plants for mineral uptake per root length (RL). Shoots of AM plants grown in pHCa 4 and 5 soil had extensive mineral nutrient content (per plant) differences, and AM plants grown in pHCa 4 soil generally had higher and wider ranges of mineral contents than plants grown in pHCa 5 soil. Mineral uptake per RL varied extensively among AM plants. The AM plants generally enhanced uptake of phosphorus (P), nitrogen (N), sulfur (S), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu) and reduced uptake of manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), boron (B), and aluminum (Al). The G. etunicatum plants particularly had higher P, N, S, K, Mg, Zn, and Cu uptake compared to the other AM plants. Most AMF isolates used were effective in enhancing mineral uptake and reducing excess amounts of toxic elements in shoots.