Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 97, Issue 7, pp 3119–3128 | Cite as

Effectiveness of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) for inducing the accumulation of major carotenoids, chlorophylls and tocopherol in green and red leaf lettuces

  • Marouane Baslam
  • Raquel Esteban
  • José I. García-Plazaola
  • Nieves Goicoechea
Applied microbial and cell physiology


Previous studies demonstrated that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can induce the accumulation of carotenoids, phenolics, anthocyanins and some mineral nutrients in leaves of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) thus enhancing its nutritional quality. Our objectives were to know which carotenoids were the most accumulated in leaves of mycorrhizal lettuces and to assess the effect of AMF on tocopherols’ levels in leaves of lettuce plants. AMF always enhanced growth and, in most cases, increased the levels of all major carotenoids, chlorophylls and tocopherols in green and red leaf lettuces. Since these molecules are also important nutraceuticals, mycorrhization emerges as reliable technique to enhance the nutritional value of edible vegetables. These results are compared with other methods developed to improve nutritional quality.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi β-carotene Lactuca sativa L. Tocopherols Xanthophylls 



Marouane Baslam is the recipient of a grant from Asociación de Amigos de la Universidad de Navarra (ADA). Raquel Esteban received a doctor specialized contract from the University of Basque Country. This study was partly supported by research projects UPV/EHU-GV IT-299-07 from the Basque Government and BFU2010-15021 from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. The authors are very grateful to Adriana Hernández, from Atens, Tarragona, Spain, for kindly providing the commercial inoculum.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marouane Baslam
    • 1
  • Raquel Esteban
    • 2
  • José I. García-Plazaola
    • 2
  • Nieves Goicoechea
    • 1
  1. 1.Dpto. Biología Vegetal, Sección Biología Vegetal (Unidad Asociada al CSIC, EEAD, Zaragoza e ICVV, Logroño). Facultades de Ciencias y FarmaciaUniversidad de NavarraPamplonaSpain
  2. 2.Dpto. Biología Vegetal y EcologíaUniversidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU)BilbaoSpain

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