Effects of arbuscular mycorrhiza and phosphorus application on arsenic toxicity in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and on the transformation of arsenic in the rhizosphere
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- Ultra, V.U., Tanaka, S., Sakurai, K. et al. Plant Soil (2007) 290: 29. doi:10.1007/s11104-006-9087-2
Effects of arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) and phosphorus (P) application on arsenic (As) toxicity were studied in a rhizobox system with As-contaminated soil collected from Shimane Prefecture, Japan. The treatments consisted of a combination of two levels of AM (Glomus aggregatum) inoculation (−AM and +AM) and two levels of P application (−P and +P at 30 mg P kg−1). Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) seedlings were cultured in rhizoboxes for 6 weeks. Rates of root AM infection in +AM treatments were about 40% regardless of P application. AM inoculation as well as P application reduced As toxicity symptoms, most clearly so in the +AM−P treatment. Plant growth was highest in the +AM + P treatment. Shoot As concentrations were slightly reduced by AM inoculation but enhanced by P application. Shoot P concentration in the +AM−P treatment was similar to that of +P treatments and was higher than in −AM−P. Analyses of rhizosphere soils at the end of the cultivation period indicated that P application increased water-soluble As (WS−As) in all compartments while AM inoculation increased WS−As in the central compartment only. Both the WS−arsenite [WS−As(III)] and the dominant form, arsenate [WS−As(V)], showed gradients toward the root surface. Dimethylarsine (DMAA) was detected in the +AM treatments only. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the occurrence of DMAA in the mycorrhizosphere. AM inoculation increased WS−P similarly as +P treatments did and promoted acid phosphatase activity in the soil. In conclusion, AM inoculation alleviated the effects of As toxicity by improving P nutrition without increasing As concentrations in the shoots. Moreover, AM appeared to be involved in the transformation of soil inorganic As into less toxic organic forms.