, Volume 77, Issue 2, pp 123–132 | Cite as

Effects of Epichloë sinica on Roegneria kamoji seedling physiology under PEG-6000 simulated drought stress

  • Yingying Bu
  • Ping Guo
  • Yanling JiEmail author
  • Shiting Zhang
  • Hanshou YuEmail author
  • Zhiwei Wang


Some Epichloë species are beneficial to their plant hosts by improving fitness and resistance to stress. The natural, seedborne, asymptomatic symbiotic endophyte Epichloë sinica is specific for Roegneria spp., which are perennial grasses found in grasslands or meadows; many species of Roegneria are excellent forage plants. This study was designed to reveal the biological function of E. sinica via seedling assays with drought simulation using polyethylene glycol (PEG)-6000. Endophyte infected (EI) and endophyte free (EF) R. kamoji seeds (obtained by heat treatment) were germinated and grown on 0, 10, 15 and 20% PEG-6000 for 10 days; seedling and root system morphologies were investigated, and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which act as signaling molecules in plant responses to abiotic stress, were detected. E. sinica enhanced both the germination potential and rate of R. kamoji seeds treated with high concentrations of PEG-6000. After PEG treatment, shoot and root morphologies differed significantly between EF and EI seedlings. Additionally, lower amounts of ROS concentration were detected in the leaves of EI seedlings treated with high concentrations of PEG-6000. In conclusion, E. sinica promoted PEG-6000 simulated drought stress resistance in R. kamoji seedlings.


PEG-6000 simulated drought stress Epichloë sinica Germination Roegneria kamoji Reactive oxygen species Seedling morphology 



We thank Prof Q. S. Cai for providing experimental equipment. We thank J. H. Xu and many other collaborators for data measurements. This research was fully supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31372365, 30970081, 30800156).


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Microbiology of Agricultural Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, College of Life SciencesNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina

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