4 December 2020

Cultivar-dependent increases in mycorrhizal nutrient acquisition by barley in response to elevated CO2.

TJ Thirkell, M Campbell, J Driver, D Pastok, B Merry, KJ Field. - Plants, People, Planet, 2020


Modern agriculture is under pressure to meet yield targets while reducing reliance on finite resources to improve sustainability. Climate change represents an additional challenge—elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations may increase plant growth and boost yield, but the nutritional value of crops grown at elevated CO2 is often reduced. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can improve plant nutrition, although how this symbiosis will be affected by climate change is unclear. Here, we demonstrate mycorrhizal contribution to nitrogen and phosphorus nutrition in barley under current and future CO2 concentrations. In one cultivar, AMF substantially increased phosphorus uptake at elevated CO2 and prevented phosphorus dilution, suggesting the symbiosis may become more important for crop nutrient uptake in the future.

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