Influence of different AM fungi on the growth, nutrition and withanolide concentration of Withania somnifera
*Corresponding author: N. Anuroopa e-mail: email@example.com
Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) is an important medicinal plant whose roots containing the alkaloid withanolide have been used in the Indian traditional system of medicine for the cure of many ailments. A polyhouse study was conducted to screen and select the efficient arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi for inoculating W. somnifera. Screening was done with eleven different species of AM fungi viz.Acaulospora laevis, Gigaspora margarita, Glomus bagyarajii, Glomus etunicatum, Glomus fasciculatum, Glomus intraradices, Glomus leptotichum, Glomus macrocarpum, Glomus monosporum, Glomus mosseae and Scutellospora calospora. Plants were raised in polybags containing sand soil mix inoculated with different AM fungi. Plant parameters like height, stem girth, biovolume index, biomass of shoot and root, NPK concentration, root withanolide concentration, and mycorrhizal parameters like root colonization, spore number in the root zone soil were determined following standard procedures. Based on the improved plant parameters, especially root biomass and withanolide concentration, it is concluded that Acaulospora laevis is the best AM fungus for inoculating W. somnifera, the next best being Glomus etunicatum.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Withania somnifera, Acaulospora laevis, plant parameters, mycorrhizal parameters.