UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Performance and Establishment of a Commercial Mycorrhizal Inoculant in Viticulture Rosa, Daniel; Pogiatzis, Antreas; Bowen, Pat; Kokkoris, Vasilis; Richards, Andrew; Holland, Taylor; Hart, Miranda

Abstract

(1) Background: Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are symbiotic organisms that help plants acquire nutrients from the soil in exchange for photosynthetic carbon. Commercial AM fungal inoculants are widely available and are used extensively in agriculture including wine grape production. However, positive growth responses from inoculants are more consistent in the greenhouse compared to the field. (2) Methods: We grew three grapevine rootstocks with and without an AM fungal inoculant in the greenhouse for one year, then they were transplanted to the field for two years. To quantify the establishment of the inoculant, we analyzed root samples with a digital PCR assay. (3) Results: We show that AM fungal inoculation increased biomass production only in the greenhouse. After two growing seasons in the field, the commercial inoculant colonized roots but did not increase biomass production compared to uninoculated rootstocks. (4) Conclusions: This study highlights that AM fungal inoculants do not always promote growth of grapevines in the field. Future research should focus on inoculant strains designed for viticulture applications and take rootstock into consideration to maximize their efficacy.

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