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Fungal endophyte Penicillium janthinellum LK5 improves growth of ABA-deficient tomato under salinity


An endophytic fungus was isolated from the roots of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill) and identified as Penicillium janthinellum LK5. The culture filtrate (CF) of P. janthinellum significantly increased the shoot length of gibberellins (GAs) deficient mutant waito-c and normal Dongjin-beyo rice seedlings as compared to control. The CF of P. janthinellum contained GAs (GA3, GA4, GA7 and GA12). To assess endophyte-growth promoting and stress-tolerance potential, the CF along with the propagules of endophyte was applied to tomato-host and abscisic acid (ABA)-deficient mutant Sitiens plants under sodium chloride (NaCl) induced salinity stress. Sitiens plants had retarded growth under normal and salinity stress however its growth was much improved during P. janthinellum-association. The endophyte inoculation reduced the membrane injury by decreasing lipid peroxidation as compared to non-inoculated control under salinity. Endophyte-associated Sitiens plants have significantly higher catalase, peroxidase and glutathione activities as compared to control. Endophyte-infected host and Sitiens plants had low level of sodium ion toxicity and high calcium contents in its root as compared to control. P. janthinellum LK5 helped the Sitiens plants to synthesis significantly higher ABA and reduced the level of jasmonic acid to modulate stress responses. The results suggest that endophytes-association can resist salinity stress by producing gibberellins and activating defensive mechanisms of host and Sitiens plants to achieve improved growth.

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This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2012R1A6A3A01040552 and 2011-0022027).

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Correspondence to In-Jung Lee.

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Khan, A.L., Waqas, M., Khan, A.R. et al. Fungal endophyte Penicillium janthinellum LK5 improves growth of ABA-deficient tomato under salinity. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 29, 2133–2144 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11274-013-1378-1

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  • Solanum lycopersicum
  • Sitiens
  • Endophytism
  • Abscisic acid
  • Salinity