Effect of soil conditions on the mycorrhizal colonization of Cannabis sativa
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) often display a beneficial relationship with plants by increasing water and nutrient availability, as well as mitigating various environmental stressors. This symbiosis, therefore, has the potential to be an effective and sustainable agricultural tool for improving plant health and yield. However, it is largely unknown how AMF interacts with and affects industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa). The present study aimed to assess how colonization of AMF may be affected by the variety of hemp or soil properties, namely pH. Plants were grown in a controlled greenhouse setting using natural field soil from an experimental farm in Vegreville, Alberta, Canada. In order to assess colonization, root samples from a minimum of seven plants per treatment were cleared, stained, and prepared for quantification using a standardized field of view method. Values are represented as the number of fungal vesicles per root volume (vesc/mm3), with averages generated for each treatment and then analyzed with a two-way ANOVA, a two-sample t-test, and descriptive statistics. Although it is still unclear which soil factors most strongly influence colonization, the observations and data from this study will be valuable for future research and aid in filling the knowledge gap regarding C. sativa and AMF.
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