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Plant and Soil

, Volume 339, Issue 1–2, pp 391–399 | Cite as

Physiological and photosynthetic responses of melon (Cucumis melo L.) seedlings to three Glomus species under water deficit

  • Zhi Huang
  • Zhirong ZouEmail author
  • Chaoxing He
  • Zhongqun He
  • Zhibin Zhang
  • Jianming Li
Regular Article

Abstract

Melon (Cucumis melo L.)—an important horticultural crop that is often cultivated in simply equipped solar greenhouses in northwestern regions of China—usually suffers under poor water management. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis can play a major role in enhancing drought tolerance. Plant growth, physiological, and photosynthetic responses of melon plants inoculated with three Glomus species under two water conditions were investigated. Results show that inoculation with Glomus improves the physiological and photosynthetic parameters of inoculated seedlings compared with non-AM seedlings. Regardless of water conditions, plant height, root length, biomass production, antioxidant enzyme activity, soluble sugar content, net photosynthetic rate, and photosynthetic water use efficiency were elevated in AM seedlings compared to non-AM seedlings. Each Glomus species manifests unique effects under the two watering conditions. We posit that AM symbiosis can protect melon plants against water deficiencies by improving their antioxidant activity, bi-directional transport of carbohydrates, and photosynthetic capacity. In addition, regardless of water conditions, the most efficient fungus for melon (Cucumis melo L.) was Glomus mosseae.

Keywords

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Water deficit Photosynthesis Antioxidant system Growth Melon 

Abbreviations

AM

Arbuscular mycorrhiza

AMF

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

Ca

Ambient partial pressure of CO2

CAT

Catalase

Ci

Intercellular CO2 concentration

G-POD

Guaiacol peroxidase

Gs

Stomatal conductance

ls

Stomatal limitations

MD

Mycorrhizal dependency

Pn

Net photosynthetic rate

PWUE

Photosynthetic water use efficiency

RWC

Relative water content

SOD

Superoxide dismutase

Tr

Transpiration rate

WD

Water deficit

WW

Well-watered

Notes

Acknowledgments

Seeds and mycorrhizal inocula were provided by the Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, CAAS, Beijing, PR, China. This work was funded by the Chinese National Science and Technology Support Programme (2007BAD79B04 and 2006AA10Z421).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhi Huang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Zhirong Zou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chaoxing He
    • 2
  • Zhongqun He
    • 3
  • Zhibin Zhang
    • 2
  • Jianming Li
    • 1
  1. 1.College of HorticultureNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, Chinese Academy of Agricultural ScienceBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of HorticultureSichuan Agricultural UniversityYa’anPeople’s Republic of China

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