A pot study was conducted to determine the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi (Glomus mosseae and Paraglomus occultum) and salt (NaCl) stress on growth, photosynthesis, root morphology and ionic balance of citrus (Citrus tangerine Hort. ex Tanaka) seedlings. Eighty-five-day-old seedlings were exposed to 100 mM NaCl for 60 days to induce salt stress. Mycorrhizal colonization of citrus seedlings was not affected by salinity when associated with P. occultum, but significantly decreased when with G. mosseae. Compared with the nonmycorrhizal controls, mycorrhizal seedlings generally had greater plant height, stem diameter, shoot, root and total plant biomass, photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate and stomatal conductance under the 0 and 100 mM NaCl stresses. Root length, root projected area and root surface area were also higher in the mycorrhizal than in the nonmycorrhizal seedlings, but higher root volume in seedlings with G. mosseae. Leaf Na ? concentrations were significantly decreased, but leaf K ? and Mg 2? concentrations and the K ? /Na ? ratio were increased when seedlings with both G. mosseae and P. occultum. Under the salt stress, Na ? concentrations were increased but K ? concentrations decreased in the mycorrhizal seedlings. Under the salt stress, Ca 2? concentrations were increased in the seedlings with P. occultum or without AM fungi (AMF), but decreased with G. mosseae. Ratios of both Ca 2? /Na ? and Mg 2? /Na ? were also increased in seedlings with G. mosseae under the non-salinity stress, while only the Mg 2? / Na ? ratio was increased in seedlings with P. occultum under the salt stress. Our results suggested that salt tolerance of citrus seedlings could be enhanced by associated AMF with better plant growth, root morphology, photosynthesis and ionic balance.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can enhance drought tolerance in plants, whereas little is known regarding AMF contribution to sucrose and proline metabolisms under drought stress (DS). In this study, Funneliformis mosseae and Paraglomus occultum were inoculated into trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata) under well watered and DS. Although the 71-days DS notably (P < 0.05) inhibited mycorrhizal colonization, AMF seedlings showed significantly (P < 0.05) higher plant growth performance and leaf relative water content, regardless of soil water status. AMF inoculation significantly (P < 0.05) increased leaf sucrose, glucose and fructose concentration under DS, accompanied with a significant increase of leaf sucrose phosphate synthase, neutral invertase, and net activity of sucrose-metabolized enzymes and a decrease in leaf acid invertase and sucrose synthase activity. AMF inoculation produced no change in leaf ornithine-δ-aminotransferase activity, but significantly (P < 0.05) increased leaf proline dehydrogenase activity and significantly (P < 0.05) decreased leaf both Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase and Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase activity, resulting in lower proline accumulation in AMF plants under DS. Our results therefore suggest that AMF strongly altered leaf sucrose and proline metabolism through regulating sucrose- and proline-metabolized enzyme activities, which is important for osmotic adjustment of the host plant.
To test direct and indirect effects of glomalin, mycorrhizal hyphae, and roots on aggregate stability, perspex pots separated by 37-μm nylon mesh in the middle were used to form root-free hyphae and root/hyphae chambers, where trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata) seedlings were colonized by Funneliformis mosseae or Paraglomus
occultum in the root/hyphae chamber. Both fungal species induced significantly higher plant growth, root total length, easily-extractable glomalin-related soil protein (EE-GRSP) and total GRSP (T-GRSP), and mean weight diameter (an aggregate stability indicator). The Pearson correlation showed that root colonization or soil hyphal length significantly positively correlated with EE-GRSP, difficultly-extractable GRSP (DE-GRSP), T-GRSP, and water-stable aggregates in 2.00–4.00, 0.50–1.00, and 0.25–0.50 mm size fractions. The path analysis indicated that in the root/hyphae chamber, aggregate stability derived from a direct effect of root colonization, EE-GRSP or DE-GRSP. Meanwhile, the direct effect was stronger by EE-GRSP or DE-GRSP than by mycorrhizal colonization. In the root-free hyphae chamber, mycorrhizal-mediated aggregate stability was due to total effect but not direct effect of soil hyphal length, EE-GRSP and T-GRSP. Our results suggest that GRSP among these tested factors may be the primary contributor to aggregate stability in the citrus rhizosphere.
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