Seedling growth and nutrient uptake of African Star Apple (Chrysophyllum albidum) in response to soil type and AMF inoculum
Most Tropical crops thrive under the rain-fed conditions, albeit with negative environmental effects having its toll on plant growth and productivity at the slightest abiotic stresses. Symbiotic relationships with plant-microbial organisms can provide varying degrees of ameliorative influences leading to drought tolerance and/or resistance and improved crop nutrient uptake responses. Experiments conducted in 2017 in Abeokuta, Nigeria evaluated the performances of 6- months old African star apple – Agbalumo (Yor.) (Chrysophyllum albidum) seedlings when cultivated in three soil types (clayey, loamy and sandy soils) and inoculated with three arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) strains (Funneliformis mosseae (Fm), Rhizophagus irregularis (Ri), Glomus etunicatum (Ge) while the untreated served as control. The results showed that plants in loamy soil had an initial taller response, plants in sandy had thicker girth than those in loamy and clayey soils and wider spread than plants in sandy soil. Significantly higher K-uptake was observed for plants in sandy soil while the reverse was with P-uptake. AMF inoculation had no significant influence on P-uptake and other nutrient elements compared to control. Proximate content analysis was varied with higher values for fat content (FC) and crude fibre for plants in sandy and clayey soils, higher crude protein in loamy, and higher sugar content for plants in loamy and sandy soils. With exception to lower FC of plants in Ri, there was no significant difference among plants inoculated with AMF. In conclusion, C. albidum seedlings had better growth performances in loamy soil, but had no significant growth response to applied AMF inoculation.