Mycorrhiza fungi are important components of soil microbiota in the rhizosphere and greatly influence the uptake of mineral elements by plants. A greenhouse experiment was conducted at the University of Embu to evaluate effect of Aspilia pluriseta rhizosphere mycorrhiza on phosphorus uptake by gadam sorghum. Pots were filled with soil from a predetermined source in the semi-arid Gakurungu, Tunyai and Kanyuambora regions of Kenya. A completely randomized block design was used with each treatment replicated four times giving n=144. Regular watering was maintained for thirty-five days. Data were analyzed using three-way ANOVA. Seed emergence, hypocotyl development and stand count were enhanced at P≤0.05 in both mycorrhiza fungi inoculated gadam sorghum seeds and in pots whose soils were taken from the rhizosphere of A. pluriseta plants. The growth attributes had a positive correlation with yield at 95% confidence. Soil phosphate level was enhanced where seed inoculation with mycorrhiza was done and in soils previously grown A. pluriseta vegetation. A. pluriseta bush fallows can be used for phosphate bio-remediation and cover crop in arid and semi-arid environments.
Key words: Rhizosphere, Mycorrhiza, Phosphorus, Aspilia pluriseta, inoculation.
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