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Mitigating the effects of water-deficit stress on potato growth and photosynthesis using mycorrhizal fungi and phosphate-solubilizing bacteria

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 March 2024

Ahmad Nemati
Department of Plant Production and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran
Mohammad Ali Aboutalebian*
Department of Plant Production and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran
Mehrdad Chaichi
Department of Seed and Plant Improvement Research, Agriculture Research, Education and Extension Organization, Hamedan, Iran
Corresponding author: Mohammad Ali Aboutalebian; Email:


Biofertilizers, such as arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi and phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (PSB), have been reported to enhance plant growth under water stress conditions. This study aimed to investigate the effect of different biofertilizers on potato photosynthesis and growth under water deficit stress. The experiment was conducted over two crop years (2019 and 2020) using a randomized complete block design with three replications. Four irrigation intervals (70, 90, 110 and 130 mm of cumulative evaporation) and six biofertilizer treatments (PSB, Funneliformis mosseae [FM], Rhizoglomus fasciculatum [RF], PSB + FM, PSB + RF and no use) were applied. Severe moisture stress (130 mm evaporation) compared to no stress (70 mm evaporation) increased substomatal carbon dioxide concentration. The application of biofertilizers improved tuber yield under severe moisture stress, with FM showing the highest increase (62.9%), followed by RF (59.8%) and PSB (48.4%). The use of PSB along with mycorrhizae led to a significant decrease in mycorrhizal colonization percentage at all irrigation levels. The highest percentage of colonization and net photosynthesis was obtained from the application of both mycorrhizal species under irrigation conditions after 70 mm of evaporation. The application of PSB alone resulted in a 14.6% increase in the transpiration rate, additionally, the use of mycorrhiza led to an 18.7% increase in stomatal conductivity compared to no-biofertilizer. The results suggest that the simultaneous use of PSB and mycorrhizae can be effective in mild moisture stress, but in severe moisture stress, the use of mycorrhizal species alone is more effective.

Crops and Soils Research Paper
Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press

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