Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 35, pp 35232–35241 | Cite as

The effects of dark septate endophyte (DSE) inoculation on tomato seedlings under Zn and Cd stress

  • Lingling Zhu
  • Tao Li
  • Chaojun Wang
  • Xiaorong Zhang
  • Lujuan Xu
  • Runbing Xu
  • Zhiwei ZhaoEmail author
Research Article


Dark septate endophytes (DSEs) are a heterogeneous group of endophytic fungi that frequently colonize the roots of plants growing in trace metal element-contaminated soils. However, the functional role of DSEs in host plants growing in metal-stressed environments remains to be elucidated. In this study, two DSE strains of Phialophora mustea Neerg. (K36 and Z48) were separately inoculated in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Miller) seedlings under metal stress conditions (0, 5, 10 mg kg−1 Cd or 0, 300, 600 mg kg−1 Zn) to evaluate the effects of DSE inoculation on tomato seedlings in pot cultures. The results showed that DSE colonization increased tomato seedling biomass whether or not there was metal addition. DSE-inoculated tomatoes had a lower Cd and Zn accumulation in both the shoots and roots compared with their respective non-inoculated controls. Under metal stress conditions, DSE inoculation significantly enhanced the activities of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD), thus relieving the membrane lipid peroxidation damage caused by metal stress, and reduced the leaf malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations more than that of the non-inoculated treatments. The results revealed that DSE enhanced metal tolerance and improved tomato plant growth, both by the reduced metal uptake into root and shoot accumulation and by the enhanced activities of antioxidant enzymes to eliminate reactive oxygen species (ROS) stress induced by excessive metals.


Dark septate endophyte (DSE) Antioxidant enzyme Metal tolerance Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Miller) 



The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. Fangdong Zhan (College of Resources and Environment, Yunnan Agricultural University, PR China) for his help in metal analysis. This work was financially supported by the National Science Foundation of China (41461073, 31460114, and 41761106) and Yunnan University’s Research Innovation Fund for Graduate Students (YNUY201697).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lingling Zhu
    • 1
  • Tao Li
    • 1
  • Chaojun Wang
    • 1
  • Xiaorong Zhang
    • 1
  • Lujuan Xu
    • 1
  • Runbing Xu
    • 1
  • Zhiwei Zhao
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Conservation and Utilization for Bioresources in YunnanYunnan UniversityKunmingPeople’s Republic of China

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