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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2014, Article ID 870616, 6 pages
Research Article

Assessment of the Effectiveness of Ectomycorrhizal Inocula to Promote Growth and Root Ectomycorrhizal Colonization in Pinus patula Seedlings Using the Most Probable Number Technique

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Calle 59 No. 63-20, 050034 Medellín, Colombia

Received 26 July 2014; Revised 23 November 2014; Accepted 25 November 2014; Published 8 December 2014

Academic Editor: Teodoro M. Miano

Copyright © 2014 Manuel Restrepo-Llano et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the response of Pinus patula seedlings to two inocula types: soil from a Pinus plantation (ES) and an in vitro produced inoculum (EM). The most probable number method (MPN) was used to quantify ectomycorrhizal propagule density (EPD) in both inocula in a 7-order dilution series ranging from 100 (undiluted inoculum) to 10−6 (the most diluted inoculum). The MPN method allowed establishing differences in the number of infective ectomycorrhizal propagules’ density (EPD) ( per g; per g). The results suggest that the EPD of an inoculum may be a key factor that influences the successfulness of the inoculation. The low EPD of the ES inoculum suggests that soil extracted from forest plantations had very low effectiveness for promoting root colonization and plant growth. In contrast, the high EPD found in the formulated inoculum (EM) reinforced the idea that it is better to use proven high quality inocula for forest nurseries than using soil from a forestry plantation.