African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5211

Full Length Research Paper

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seedling growth and development as influenced by Trichoderma harzianum and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

Bombiti Nzanza*, Diana Marais and Puffy Soundy
Department of Plant Production and Soil Science, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Published: 18 February 2011



Recent trends in soil microbiology suggest that certain soil microbes have a positive effect on seedling growth and development. A study was conducted to investigate the interactive effect of the plant-growth promoting fungi Trichoderma harzianum and the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in growth and development of tomato (Solanun lycopersicum) seedlings grown under greenhouse conditions. A 3 × 3 factorial experiment was laid out in a completely randomised design with six replications. At harvest (42 DAP), when compared with the control, T. harzianum and/or AMF treated plants improved shoot length, root length, dry shoot mass and dry root mass. Pre-inoculation with AMF increased shoot N, P and S content of tomato seedlings, whereas pre-sowing with T. harzianum alone increased the shoot N. Generally, shoot Zn and Mn content were affected by both fungi, with the best result observed when AMF was applied 2 weeks after T. harzianum. The percentage of roots colonised by AMF was less than 15% regardless of the time when T. harzianum was applied. However, the percentage of roots colonised by T. harzianum was greater than 90% at all times. In conclusion, this study suggested that T. harzianum and AMF have the potential to improve tomato seedling growth and development.


Key words: Essential mineral nutrients, mycorrhiza, plant-growth promoting fungi, seedling quality, Solanum lycopersicum.