Volume 13, Issue 4 (3-2023)                   2023, 13(4): 41-70 | Back to browse issues page

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Soil and Water Department, Khorasan Razavi Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, AREEO, Mashhad, Iran.
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Organic fertilizers and symbiotic fungi are very important in agriculture because of their special role as a link between soil and plant. Currently, large parts of the country's pistachio orchards are facing water and soil salinity crisis. In this study, the effect of processed pistachio waste compost at three levels (0, 10 and 15 kg per seedling) and mycorrhizal fungi at three levels (0, 100 and 200 g soil containing fungal spores per seedling) belonging to four species (Funneliformis mosseae, Rhizophahus intraradices, Glomus iranicus, Rhizophahus irregularis) on vegetative growth and leaf nutrients concentration of two pistachio cultivars of Akbari and Badami Zarand, with three replications (each replicate consisting of four seedlings) were investigated. This experiment was carried out as a factorial split-plot in randomized complete block design (RCBD) for two years (2017 and 2019) in the saline-sodic soil and water condition. The results showed that 15 kg of pistachio waste compost increased the concentrations of nitrogen, iron, zinc and manganese elements in the leaves by 4, 9.7, 8 and 12.1% compared to control, respectively. Also, the height, width and leaf area of seedling leaves increased by 9.6%, 11.8% and 2.8%, respectively, by applying of 15 kg of pistachio waste compost compared to the control. The maximum concentration of leaf iron (702.2 mg kg-1) was observed in the treatment of 200 g of fungi. In the treatment of 100 g of mycorrhiza, the concentrations of manganese, leaf area and height were the highest with 64.8 mg kg-1, 415.3 cm2 and 44.9 cm, respectively. The root colonization percentages were 35.1 and 27.2 in Akbari and Badami Zarand cultivars, respectively. Overall, 15 kg of pistachio waste compost along with 100 grams of mycorrhizal fungi can result in proper vegetative growth of pistachio seedlings the saline water and soil conditions.

Background and Objective: One of the important problems in the world pistachio industry is the waste produced by pistachio processing. Mycorrhizal fungi is among the most important microorganisms present in most soils and mycorrhizal symbiosis is also one of the most well-known, widespread, and at the same time the most important symbiosis relationship (4). Fertile pistachio cultivated area in Iran is 405691 ha and the total yield was 337381 tons (1). Almost all pistachio orchards in Iran are mainly located in arid and semi-arid regions and have serious limitations (2, 3 and 5). The aim of this study was to determine whether compost of pistachio waste along with mycorrhizal fungus can be effective in improving the nutrient uptake from the soil and the vegetative growth of pistachio seedlings under saline-sodic conditions of soil and water.

Methods: A field experiment was conducted on two seedlings pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) cultivars (Akbari and Badami zarand) in three replications (each replication consisted of four seedlings). The experiment was laid out in the factorial split-plot arrangement based on a randomized complete block design (RCBD) for four years (2016-2017 and 2018-2019) in the Feyzabad pistachio research station of Khorasan Razavi, Iran. Experimental factors including, pistachio waste compost in three levels of zero, 10 and, 15 kg seedling-1; mycorrhizal fungi (belonging to four species, Funneliformis mosseae, Rhizophahus intraradices, Glomus iranicus, and Rhizophahus irregularis) in three levels of zero, 100 and, 200 g of soil containing fungal spores per seedling (one gram of soil containing 100 to 120 propagule of mycorrhizal fungi) were applied in the first and third years of experiment. The investigated traits were recorded and measured in the second and fourth years of the experiment.

Results: The year had a significant effect on nutrient uptake especially calcium, iron and manganese, and biological nitrogen fixation due to a significant increase in rainfall in 2019. Akbari and Badami zarand cultivars seedlings performed better in the uptake of micro and macronutrients, respectively. The relationship between leaf size and nutrients concentrations, especially iron concentration was very clear and significant. Thus, the Akbari cultivar had the highest leaf area and nutrients concentrations. The pistachio waste compost had a greater effect on the concentrations of nitrogen, iron, zinc, and manganese compared to the other nutrients. The low salinity and pH of pistachio waste compost resulted in suitable micronutrient uptake which was appropriate for saline-sodic soil and water condition. The consumption levels of mycorrhiza were not adequate for macroelements’ requirements, but the highest level of mycorrhiza was enough for iron and zinc supply in the saline-sodic condition.

Conclusions: In this study, it was found that, contrary to expectations, the mycorrhizal fungus could not significantly increase the availability of nutrients, especially phosphorus for the pistachio seedlings. These results seem to confirm previous findings that fungi are less active in saline and sodic environments with high pH. Another interesting result was that with an increase in pistachio waste compost, the efficiency of mycorrhizal fungus in the availability of elements was significantly increased. It was also found that the use of pistachio waste compost as an organic fertilizer - previously dubious - could now be a viable alternative to organic fertilizers; because it significantly increased the uptake of macro and microelements for pistachio seedlings. In general, due to the fact that most of the pistachio orchards are located in unfavorable areas of water and soil (high salinity and pH), and pistachios also have a small extension of lateral roots, the combined use of mycorrhizal fungi and pistachio waste compost can significantly improve the soil physical and chemical conditions and plant growth.

1. Agricultural Statistics Yearbook, 2019. Volume III. Horticultural Products. Information and Communication Technology Center, Ministry of Jihad Agriculture, Iran.
2. Hosseinifard, J., 2010. Soil and Nutrition. In: Mehrnejad, M.R., Javanshah, A. (Eds.), The Strategic Framework for Developing and Promoting Pistachio Research in Iran. First Edition, Iranian Pistachio Research Institute, Rafsanjan, Iran, pp. 420–495.
3. Mehrnejad, M., Javanshah, A., 2010. Strategic Document of Iranian Pistachio Research. Pistachio Research Center, Rafsanjan.
4. Muchovej, R.M., 2009. Importance of mycorrhizae for agricultural crops. Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
5. Sedaghati, N., Mohammadi Mohammadabadi, A., 2010. Water. In: Mehrnejad, M.R., Javanshah, A. (Eds.), The Strategic Framework for Developing and Promoting Pistachio Research in Iran. First Edition, Iranian Pistachio Research Institute, Rafsanjan, Iran, pp. 71–111.

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Plant growth under stressful conditions
Received: 2022/07/30 | Accepted: 2023/02/22 | Published: 2023/02/26

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