A. LOUNES-HADJ SAHRAOUI2
F. BEN JEDDI1
1Laboratoire des Sciences Horticoles LR13AGR01, Université de Carthage, Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie, 43 Ave Charles Nicolle, 1082 Tunis, Mahrajène, Tunisia.
2 Unité de Chimie Environnementale et Interactions sur le Vivant (UCEIV), Université du Littoral Côté d′Opale, SFR Condorcet FR CNRS 3417, 50 rue Ferdinand Buisson, 62228, Calais, France.
3 Centre de recherche de l’est sur les céréales et oléagineux (CRECO), 960 Ave Carling, Ottawa K1A 0C6, Canada.
Abstract - A pot experiment was conducted to assess the growth response and grain yield of hulless barley (Hordeum vulgare ssp nudum L.) to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) inoculation. Three inoculants containing native AMF species, AI1 (Funneliformis mosseae, Funneliformis geosporum and Scutellospora calospora); AI2 (Funneliformis mosseae and Funneliformis geosporum); and AI3 (Pacispora franciscana, Funneliformis mosseae, Funneliformis geosporum, Rhizophagus irregulare and Glomus tenebrosum), isolated from agricultural soils in northern Tunisia were tested and compared to a commercial inoculant CI (Glomus sp.). Our findings showed that native AMF species, in particular AI3 mycorrhizal inoculum, performed better than commercial inoculant and presented the highest values for mycorrhizal root colonization (53.3%), followed by CI (43.7%), AI1 (38.5%) and AI2 (18.5%) and growth parameters. AMF inoculation also improved significantly macro and micro-nutrient contents such as N, P, K, Cu, Fe and Zn in hulless barley plants as compared to non-inoculated. This resulted in higher total biomass and grain yield of hulless barley. In fact, total biomass of hulless increased significantly about 1.6 and 1.5-fold in plants inoculated with AI3 and CI. Moreover, the highest grain yield was recorded in plants inoculated with AI3 (4.8 g/ pot), whereas the lowest (1.9 g/ pot) was observed with AI2. The obtained results highlight the efficiency of the native AMF species present in AI3 inoculum. This study underlines the potential of using efficient native AMF inoculants to enhance growth and yield of hulless barley.