Biology and Fertility of Soils, vol. 43, issue 5 (1999) p. 319–339 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Two of 187 fungal isolates (Aspergillus niger 1B and 6A) displaying superior phosphate (P) solubilization and hydrolytic enzyme secretion were studied using P forms of calcium (Ca-P), iron (Fe-P), and aluminum (Al-P). Phosphate solubilization in a sucrose-basal salt (SB) broth was increased and pH decreased by both isolates. In Ca-P medium, solubilization for 6A was approximately 322 mu g P mL(-1) and pH decreased by 4.2 units to 2.3 in 72 h. However, when pH value of the SB broth was lowered to 2.5 using HCl, 65.3 +/- 0.4 mu g mL(-1) of P was released from Ca-P, whereas trace amounts of P were released from Fe-P and Al-P. Both isolates displayed enhanced Al-P solubilization using NH4Cl rather than KNO3 as the N source; final pH values were not significantly different. With Ca-P, gluconic acid was predominantly produced by 1B and 6A, whereas oxalic acid predominated with Fe-P and Al-P. Addition of gluconic acid (final concentration of 8.5 mu mol mL(-1)) to Ca-P-supplemented SB lowered pH (2.9) and solubilized phosphate (146.0 +/- 1.0 mu g mL(-1)). Similarly, addition of oxalic acid (final concentration 6.6 mu mol mL(-1)) to Ca-P- and Fe-P-amended media solubilized P (60.2 +/- 0.9 and 21.6 +/- 2.1 mu g mL(-1), respectively), although these quantities were significantly lower than those detected in unamended SB. The presence of unidentified P solubilized compound(s) in the dialyzed (MW > 500) supernatant warrants further study. In pot experiments, significant increases in plant (Brassica chinensis Linn.) dry weight and N and P contents were observed with the addition of isolate 6A, when a small amount of organic fertilizer together with either rock phosphate (South African apatite) or Ca-P served as the main P sources.
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