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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01312

Contrasting nitrogen fertilisation rates alter mycorrhizal contribution to barley nutrition in a field trial

  • 1University of York, United Kingdom
  • 2University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

Controlled environment studies show that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) may contribute to plant nitrogen (N) uptake, but the role of these near-ubiquitous symbionts in crop plant N nutrition under natural field conditions remains largely unknown. In a field trial, we tested the effects of N fertilisation and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivar identity on the contribution of AMF to barley N uptake using 15N tracers added to rhizosphere soil compartments. AMF were shown capable of significantly increasing plant 15N acquisition from root exclusion zones, and this was influenced by nitrogen addition type, N fertiliser application rate and barley cultivar identity. Our data demonstrate a previously overlooked potential route of crop plant N uptake which may be influenced substantially and rapidly in response to shifting agricultural management practices.

Keywords: Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM), field trial, Nitrogen, barley, Plant ecophysiology

Received: 20 May 2019; Accepted: 20 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Thirkell, Cameron and Hodge. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Tom J. Thirkell, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom,