Exploitation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi may be an important approach for development of reduced-input agriculture. We discuss the use of linear models to analyze variation in mycorrhiza response among diverse plant varieties in order to assess the value of mycorrhizas. Our approach allows elimination of variation linked to differences in plant performance in the absence of mycorrhizas and the selection of plant lines that might harbor genetic variation of use to improve the mycorrhizal symbiosis in agriculture. We illustrate our approach by applying it to previously published and to novel data. We suggest that in dealing with a relative trait such as mycorrhiza effect, the choice of measure used to quantify the trait greatly affects interpretation. In the plant populations under consideration, we find evidence for a greater potential to increase mycorrhiza benefit than previously suggested.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agronomy and Crop Science