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Mycorrhizal Inoculation Affects Pb and Cd Accumulation and Translocation in Pakchoi (Brassica chinensis L.)

WU, Zhipeng, WU, Weidong, ZHOU, Shenglu, WU, Shaohua
Pedosphere 2016 v.26 no.1 pp. 13-26
Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis, Glomus mosseae, Glomus versiforme, biomass, cadmium, crop production, crops, electrical conductivity, food safety, greenhouse experimentation, heavy metals, human health, inoculum, lead, mycorrhizal fungi, polluted soils, roots, shoots, soil inoculation, soil organic matter, soil pH, soil-plant interactions, vegetable growing, vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae
Heavy metal (HM) contamination in soils is an environmental issue worldwide that threatens the quality and safety of crops and human health. A greenhouse experiment was carried out to investigate the growth, mycorrhizal colonization, and Pb and Cd accumulation of pakchoi (Brassica chinensis L. cv. Suzhou) in response to inoculation with three arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi (AMF), Funneliformis mosseae, Glomus versiforme, and Rhizophagus intraradices, aimed at exploring how AMF inoculation affected safe crop production by altering plant-soil interaction. The symbiotic relationship was well established between pakchoi and three AMF inocula even under Pb or Cd stress, where the colonization rates in the roots ranged from 24.5% to 38.5%. Compared with the non-inoculated plants, the shoot biomass of the inoculated plants increased by 8.7%–22.1% and 9.2%–24.3% in Pb and Cd addition treatments, respectively. Both glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP) and polyphosphate concentrations reduced as Pb or Cd concentration increased. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi inoculation significantly enhanced total absorbed Pb and Cd (except for a few samples) and increased the distribution ratio (root/shoot) in pakchoi at each Pb or Cd addition level. However, the three inocula significantly decreased Pb concentration in pakchoi shoots by 20.6%–67.5% in Pb addition treatments, and significantly reduced Cd concentration in the shoots of pakchoi in the Cd addition treatments (14.3%–54.1%), compared to the non-inoculated plants. Concentrations of Pb and Cd in the shoots of inoculated pakchois were all below the allowable limits of Chinese Food Safety Standard. The translocation factor of Pb or Cd increased significantly with increasing Pb or Cd addition levels, while there was no significant difference among the three AMF inocula at each metal addition level. Meanwhile, compared with the non-inoculated plants, AMF inocula significantly increased soil pH, electrical conductivity, and Pb or Cd concentrations in soil organic matter in the soils at the highest Pb or Cd dose after harvest of pakchoi, whereas the proportion of bioavailable Pb or Cd fraction declined in the AMF inoculated soil. Our study provided the first evidence that AM fungi colonized the roots of pakchoi and indicated the potential application of AMF in the safe production of vegetables in Pb or Cd contaminated soils.