The Use of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi to Improve Potassium Acquisition in Soybean in North Carolina
Sustainable Production
GeneticsGenomicsSeed quality
Lead Principal Investigator:
Kevin Garcia, North Carolina State University
Co-Principal Investigators:
Project Code:
Contributing Organization (Checkoff):
Institution Funded:
Brief Project Summary:
Soybeans need potassium for biomass production, stress tolerance and reproductive growth. Those factors translate to yield. However, just a fraction of the potassium in soils is available to plants. In response, plants have developed strategies to efficiently take up this nutrient. Symbiotic, or mutually beneficial, relationships between land plants and soil microbes are the most important strategy for absorbing nutrients and water. This research focuses on understanding how beneficial fungi help soybeans acquire soil potassium. This multi-year project investigates the impact of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on K uptake in soybeans in the field and greenhouse. The laboratory portion of the study concentrates on understanding the mechanism and amount of K transported into soybeans.
Key Beneficiaries:
#agronomists, #extension agents, #farmers
Unique Keywords:
#fertility, #k, #microbiome, #potassium, #soil fertility
Information And Results
Project Summary

Potassium is an essential macronutrient for plants, and its availability strongly affects biomass production, tolerance to stress, and yield. Since only a small fraction of the soil potassium content is plant available, plants must develop efficient strategies for the uptake of potassium from the soil. The most important strategy used by plants to acquire nutrients is the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis, a mutualistic association between the majority of land plants and ubiquitous soil fungi. AM fungi play an important role for plant and soil health. These beneficial fungi take up nutrients and water from the soil and deliver them to the plant. Although most studies have been done on the acquisition of phosphorus and nitrogen, we have recently demonstrated that AM fungi also have a positive impact on the potassium nutrition in legumes. A better understanding of the strategies used by legumes, and particularly soybean, to acquire potassium will be crucial to improving future crop productivity and environmental sustainability of crop production. The increasing demand for food and the development of alternative strategies for enhancing crop yields while reducing the use of chemical fertilizers represents a critical priority. We propose here to test if similar benefits provided by AM fungi can be observed in soybean in the field and in greenhouse, and to quantify the actual transport of K from the soil to mycorrhizal soybean roots in laboratory condition. The proposed project will allow us to determine whether AM fungi affect the yield, nutrient content, and productivity of soybean under different K regimes. Disseminating these results within the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association will help local soybean growers and producers to breed and select varieties that are able to interact more efficiently with mycorrhizal fungi, and to reduce the use of potash without affecting soybean growth and yield.

Project Objectives

1. To assess the impact of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on potassium uptake in soybean in the field and in greenhouse.

2. To quantify the transport of potassium from the soil to soybean through arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in laboratory.

Project Deliverables

Progress Of Work

Final Project Results

Benefit To Soybean Farmers

The United Soybean Research Retention policy will display final reports with the project once completed but working files will be purged after three years. And financial information after seven years. All pertinent information is in the final report or if you want more information, please contact the project lead at your state soybean organization or principal investigator listed on the project.