Vol. 4, Issue 3 (2019)
Growth and Some Physiological Attribute Responses of Cucurbita maxima Duch. to Sea Salt Stress and Mycorrhizal Fungi Mitigation
Author(s): Okon Godwin Okon, Joseph Etim Okon, Peter Paul Uyon, Andrew Osivmete Victor
Abstract: The current research was conducted to examine the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Rhizophagus irregularis) in alleviating adverse effects of sea salt water and saline soil stress in Cucurbita maxima. Physicochemical properties of the experimental soils (saline and garden soils) and irrigation water (sea and fresh water) indicated significant (p=0.05) differences between the two soil types in; pH, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, Ex. Na and in irrigation water; EC as well as salinity, Cl-, Na+ and EC. Saline soil/water treatment reduced photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll a, b and carotenoids), minerals, relative water content, biomass yield as well as percentage mycorrhizal root colonization (45.45 to 20.34%) and mycorrhizal dependency (100.00% to 13.87%). The symbiotic association between R. irregularis with roots of C. maxima showed improvements on the biomass and physiological attributes of C. maxima through morphological and physiological vicissitudes and improved vigour to survive under severe salt stress conditions.