Summary: The level and pattern of rhizosphere competence of a strain of (1295-22) derived from fusing protoplasts of auxotrophic mutants of the prototrophic strains T12 and T95 were studied and compared with those of the original strains. Colonization of the rhizosphere by the three strains was tested after treating seeds of cotton and maize with conidia and planting them in soil at a constant moisture content. Propagules of the fungi were removed by a washing technique, spp. were isolated by plating serial dilutions on a selective medium, and individual strains were identified by their characteristic growth on differential media. Both strains T12 and T95 colonized the entire length of maize roots, but strain 1295-22 was more effective in colonizing the middle sections of the roots than either parental strain. All strains colonized cotton roots more poorly than maize roots; strains T12 and T95 were not detected on some root segments of this crop. Strain T95 was, however, found on the root tip, while T12 was absent from this root portion. Conversely, strain 1295-22 colonized all root sections of this crop, and its population levels were higher in the middle root portions than those of either parental strain.


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