Document Type : Original Article
The potential of three arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) - Glomus mosseae, G. fasciculatum and G. intraradices- to enhance the production of essential oil and plant growth parameter was investigated in sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum). The AMF inoculation significantly increased plant height, fresh and dry matter yield, oil content and oil yield as compared to non-inoculated basil plants. Essential oil content in plants inoculated with G. mosseae and G. fasciculatum was significantly higher than other treatments. Shoot fresh weight significantly increased by all three mycorrhiza fungi species, but only inoculation with G. intraradices and G. fasciculatum increased root dry weight. Also oil composition improved with AMF inoculation and linalool and methyl chavicol that enhance the essence quality, increased in inoculated plant compared to control plants. These results demonstrate that AMF concomitantly increase essential oil production and biomass in an herbaceous species rich in commercially valued essential oils. Therefore, AMF potentially represent an alternative way of promoting growth of this important medicinal herb, as natural ways of growing such crops are currently highly sought after in the herbal industry.