Why does corn need mycorrhization?

Due to lack of moisture or insufficient nutrition, corn productivity may decrease by 20-50% during prolonged periods of stress. One of the ways to improve the stress resistance of corn is mycorrhization. Mycorrhiza is a symbiosis of a fungus and a plant, when the roots of plants accumulate carbohydrates, which the plant shares with the fungus. In turn, the fungus, colonizing the roots, performs the function of absorbing root hairs and helps the plant to absorb nutrients from the soil.

Microbiologists of the Ukrainian company BTU-CENTER have developed their own product, the effectiveness of which is recognized not only in Ukraine, but also in Bulgaria, Moldova, Belarus, Kazakhstan mycorrhizal preparation MYCOFRIEND. It includes a complex of fungi that form mycorrhiza - Glomus VS, Trichoderma Harzianum; microorganisms that contribute to rhizosphere formation in the root zone of plants - Streptomyces sp., Pseudomonas Fluorescens, and phosphorus-mobilizing bacteria - Bacillius Megaterium var.phosphaticum, Bacillus Subtilis, Bacillus Muciloginosus, Enterobacter sp. MYCOFRIEND promotes mycorrhiza formation and has fungicidal activity in the rhizosphere of plants. To make its application easier, the preparation is produced in liquid form and on peat basis with an identical composition and titer.

Foreign researchers have established that mycorrhizal inoculation is relevant in conditions of lack of soil moisture. Due to branching of fungal hyphae, it is possible for the root system of the plant with mycorrhiza to cover a larger volume of soil, thereby increasing not only the amount, but also the rate of moisture absorption. Studies conducted using special plant microscopy have shown that the diameter of the hyphae of mycorrhizal fungi is 2-20 microns, while the thinnest roots of plants have a diameter of 100-200 microns, and the length of the hyphae can be 50-100 times greater than the roots [1 ,2, 3].

In addition to the ability to prevent moisture stress, mycorrhization of corn is relevant for optimizing the supply of plants with available phosphorus, the concentration of which is low in most soils. This is due to the fact that orthophosphate, as the most accessible form of phosphorus absorbed by plants, is not mobile and can be absorbed by roots only at distance of several millimeters from their surface [4, 5].Thus, spots with a deficiency of phosphorus are formed in the root zone, since its absorption by plants occurs faster than it is restored. Due to branching of mycorrhizal hyphae, phosphorus becomes available at much greater distance up to 12 cm [6]. According to the similar principle, the possibility of absorption of trace element compounds by plants copper, zinc, sulfur, magnesium, iron, etc. [7] is growing.

The final result that confirms the effectiveness of any agricultural measures is productivity of agricultural crops. As evidenced by numerous scientific studies [4-7] conducted with mycorrhiza, in almost 80% of experiments mycorrhiza formation improved the growth and development of plants, thereby increasing their productivity. Experiments conducted in farms in different regions of Ukraine have shown that, for example, in Kyiv region in case of row fertilization with the liquid form of the preparation MYCOFRIEND at corn sowing, the increase in the crop yield in one of the farms was 0.7 t / ha, and in the other - 0.3 t / ha (see the chart). Application of the peat-based preparation MYCOFRIEND for treating the seeds directly in the sowing machine at the rate of 4 kg/t of seeds in terms of Vinnytsia region provided the increase of the yield of 0.3 t/ha. The similar application scheme in Rivne region provided an increase in the corn yield of 1.1 t / ha, and in Cherkasy region, where there were no falls during almost the entire summer 0.7 t / ha.

Fig. 1 Effectiveness of MYCOFRIEND on corn, 2018-2019. D experiments, with application of MYCOFRIEND; K controls, without application of MYCOFRIEND.

In Polisska part of Zhytomyr region, treatment of corn seeds with this biological preparation in the sowing machine, but at the rate of 5 kg/t of seeds, provided an increase in the crop yield of 0.7 t / ha.

Serhii Gavrylov,
PhD in Agriculture,
agronomist-researcher of BTU-CENTER