Evaluation of White yam (Dioscorea rotundata) genotypes for arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization, leaf nutrient concentrations and tuber yield under NPK fertilizer application

Yield decline in yam may not only be due to soil nutrient depletion but also to the activity of soil microflora. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis helps in plant nutrition but may be affected by the application of fertilizer. The effects of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) fertilizer rates on the AM colonization, leaf nutrient concentrations, and tuber yields of eleven genotypes of Dioscorea rotundata were investigated at Ibadan, Nigeria. The soil was ferric luvisol. Eleven genotypes were selected from the previously conducted screening of 75 genotypes of D. rotundata for fertilizer response. Four application rates: 0, 200, 400, and 600 kg ha−1 of NPK 15-15-15 were applied in a split plot design with four replications. Fertilizer rate was the main plot and variety was the sub plot. Percentage AM colonization was significantly reduced at 600 kg ha−1 but not at lower rates when compared to zero rate and it was negatively correlated with leaf N, P, and zinc (Zn) concentrations. Leaf N concentrations were significantly increased at 200 kg ha−1 in five genotypes and at 600 kg ha−1 in two genotypes compared to zero application. Leaf P and K concentrations were decreased with the application of fertilizer in most of the genotypes. The NPK fertilizer of 15- 15-15 at the rate of 200–400 kg ha−1 gave yield response in eight genotypes of D. rotundata, with minimal or no effect on their AM colonization when compared to zero application. Long term study on the effect of fertilizer application on AM symbiosis in yam is recommended.
This article is Published by Taylor & Francis 2014, and is also available at 10.1080/01904167.2013.867988
Journal of Plant Nutrition, 37:658–673, 2014