Mycorrhization is known to have beneficial effects on growth vigour and protection against certain pathogens in several plant species including plantains, which has so far been little studied in the Kisangani forest region. This study aimed to determine the importance and biodiversity of mycorrhizae under plantains in the slash-and-burn and non-burn cropping systems. This research was carried out in two experimental sites located at Kisangani region in DR Congo, namely: Simi-Simi and Masako villages. Thus, 96 samples each consisting of the plantain roots and the rhizospheric soil, as well as 4 soil samples were analysed. The mycorrhization rate of the roots was calculated and sporal description to determine the mycorrhizal taxa was carried out. The overall mycorrhization rate was 40.75%. The mycorrhizal spore number was higher in non-burned fields than burned fields. There was no significant difference between the 2 practices at Masako, but the difference was significant at Simi-Simi. Moreover, vigorous plants revealed higher number of spores than non-vigorous plants. There was a significant difference between the two types of plantains. Genera of mycorrhizal spores identified were Glomus (54.96%), Gigaspora (27.84%), Acaulospora (10.50%) and Scutellospora (6.71%). The mycorrhizal sporal numbers significantly varied among plantain cultivars. The presence of tree species in the plantain plantations at high density positively influenced mycorrhization to a small extent. The above sporal genera showed a positive correlation with pH, nitrogen, clay, sand and phosphorus and negatively with organic carbon. These results showed the possibility of isolating high-performance biofertilizing mycorrhizal strains from vigorous plantain crops.
Key words: Mycorrhizae, plantain, Kisangani, slash field, burned field, non-burned field.
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