Isolation of phosphate solubilizing fungi from vegetable rhizosphere and their effects on growth of Tomato (Lycopersicon spp.)

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Research Paper 12/07/2023
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Isolation of phosphate solubilizing fungi from vegetable rhizosphere and their effects on growth of Tomato (Lycopersicon spp.)

Abstract

Five (5) phosphate-solubilizing mold species isolated from the rhizosphere regimes of vegetable crops were characterized in terms of their solubilizing index (SI) and ability to grow at varying pH values. Solubilization index of isolates ranged from 1.89 (M3) to 2.56 (M6). In culture broth, PSF caused the pH dropped from 7.0 to 4.31 in 12 days with M1 producing the highest drop in pH (4.31). Two isolates with highest SI identified as Penicillium sp (M1) and Rhizopus sp. (M6) were selected to determine their effects on seed vigor and growth of tomato plants (Lycopersicon sp.) in a greenhouse experiment. When tested on their ability to promote seed germination, the fungal isolates increased the germination rate of seeds compared to the control. The highest germination rate was observed with Rhizopus (96%) followed by Penicillium (92.33%). Effect of co-inoculation did not differ significantly with single inoculation. In terms of vigor index, single and co-inoculation with fungal isolates produced the same seed vigor but improved considerably compared with the control. In pot experiments, compared with the uninoculated plants, single inoculation with fungal isolates significantly improved the height, number of leaves produced, and fresh and dry weight of tomato plant, but were comparable among the isolates. Dual or co-inoculation resulted to plant height comparable with the control. PSF a vast potential to contribute to agronomic productivity as biofertilizers for a more-environmentally friendly agricultural management.

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