Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia
Hard copy: ISSN 1691–8088
On-line: ISSN 2255–9582
Environ Exp Biol (2017) 15: 289–296
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Environmental and

Environ Exp Biol (2017) 15: 289–296

Orginal Paper

Effect of biochar and Trichoderma application on fungal diversity and growth of Zea mays in a sandy loam soil

Olga Muter1*, Lelde Grantina-Ievina1,2, Galina Makarenkova1,2, Dagnija Vecstaudza1, Silvija Strikauska1,3, Turs Selga2, Raimonds Kasparinskis4, Solvita Stelmahere1, Christoph Steiner5
1 Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology, University of Latvia, Jelgavas 1, Riga LV–1004, Latvia
2 Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia, Jelgavas 1, Riga LV–1004, Latvia
3 Latvia University of Agriculture, Liela 2, Jelgava LV–3001, Latvia
4 Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Latvia, Jelgavas 1, Riga LV–1004, Latvia
5 University of Kassel, Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences, Steinstrasse 19, D–37213 Witzenhausen, Germany
* Corresponding author, E-mail: olga.mutere@lu.lv


Application of biochar (BC) to agricultural soils has raised global interest. BC could serve as a carrier for immobilization of beneficial microorganisms. Effect of straw-derived BC (50 t ha–1) with and without immobilized Trichoderma viride on the growth of maize in a sandy loam soil in Zemgale region (Latvia) was studied in a 128-day mini-field trial. Four treatment types were compared, i.e., without amendments [C], biochar [BC], biochar with T. viride [BCT], and T. viride [T]. The highest amount of Trichoderma spp. DNA was detected by qPCR in [BCT]. The obtained results demonstrated high heterogenity of soil samples. Addition of straw-derived BC with immobilized T. viride to sandy loam soil promoted survival of Trichoderma spp. and significantly (p < 0.05) increased maize growth. The highest germination index, i.e., 87.5%, after 14 days was observed in the [BCT] treatment. These results provide new methods for the optimization of cultivation conditions for maize in Northern latitudes.

Key words: fungal abundance, maize, nutrient profile of biomass, qPCR, straw-derived biochar, Trichoderma viride.

Environ Exp Biol (2017) 15: 289–296
 DOI: http://doi.org/10.22364/eeb.15.30

Prof. Gederts Ievinsh
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