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Improving drought tolerance of Casuarina equisetifolia seedlings by arbuscular mycorrhizas under glasshouse conditions

Abstract

Effects of mycorrhizal association on improving tolerance of host plant under stress environments have received attentions in recent years. In this paper, six isolates of AMF (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus) were inoculated to Casuarina equisetifolia seedlings under glasshouse conditions to investigate the effects of AMF on growth and drought tolerance of host plants. All the six isolates which belong to Glomus showed high mycorrhizal colonization (88.5–96.0%) with C. equisetifolia seedlings. Seedlings were subjected to drought stress without watering for 7 days and survival of the seedlings inoculated with Glomus caledonium Gc90068, G. versiforme Gv9004 and G. caledonium Gc90036 increased by 36.6, 23.3 and 16.6%, respectively compared with uninoculated seedlings. Limited influence of AMF on seedling height growth was found, but the effects of AMF on total biomass increment were very significant; the increment ranged from 25.7 to 118.9% compared with uninoculated treatment, and it was noted that AMF exerted more influences on root biomass than shoot biomass. Based on the changes in physiological and biochemical parameters among different treatments caused by drought stress, it was concluded that AM (arbuscular mycorrhizal) associations improve the drought tolerance of C. equisetifolia seedlings by means of some physiological and biochemical responses, such as lowering permeability of plasma membrane and MDA (malondialdehyde) contents, enhancing concentrations of P nutrition, soluble sugar, soluble protein and activities of POX (Peroxidase) of C. equisetifolia seedlings.

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Acknowledgments

This study was financially supported by the International Foundation for Science (IFS grant No. D/3691-1), Youth Foundation of research Institute of Tropical Forestry (2007-24), the 11th National Five-Year Plan for Forestry Projects (2006BAD01A1605), the 863 Program (2002AA241091) and Ministry of Science and Technology’s Extension Program (2007GB24320424). AMF isolates of G. mosseae, G. etunicatum and G. intraradices were kindly provided by Prof. Wang Youshan, Plant Nutrition and Resource Institute, Agriculture and Forestry Academy of Beijing, China. Mr Aljoy Abarquez of CSIRO Plant Industry, Australia was thanked for his valuable comments on early draft of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to C. L. Zhong.

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Zhang, Y., Zhong, C.L., Chen, Y. et al. Improving drought tolerance of Casuarina equisetifolia seedlings by arbuscular mycorrhizas under glasshouse conditions. New Forests 40, 261–271 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11056-010-9198-8

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Keywords

  • Arbuscular mycorrhiza
  • Casuarina equisetifolia
  • Physiological and biochemical responses
  • Drought tolerance