The presence of indigenous mycorrhizal fungi may have significant effects on the growth and on the root morphology of plants, under arid and semi arid soil conditions. Lentil and wheat are the traditional crops grown in Southeastern Turkey. In this study soil samples from the Harran plain were collected from the 0-15 cm surface layer under wheat or lentil crop residues and used in a pot experiment carried out under greenhouse conditions with four levels of P fertilization: 0, 20,40 and 80 mg kg(-1) soil as Ca(H2PO4)(2). Half of the soil batches were submitted to a heating treatment (80 degrees C, 2 h). The maize variety PX-9540 was grown in the pots for 57 days. At harvest, plant dry weight, root length, P and Zn concentrations in plant tissues were measured and the extent of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) was determined. Results showed that maize plants grown in soils where lentil had been previously cultivated grew better than those grown after wheat cultivation. In both cases, P concentration in plant tissues increased with increased P fertilization. There were no significant differences in root AMF colonization between soils with different crop sequences, nor with soils submitted to high temperature. Previous crops had a significant influence on the growth of plants that could be related to differences in the indigenous mycorrhiza inoculum potential and efficacy that can promote P uptake and benefit plant growth.