Main content area

Arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi facilitate rapid adaptation of Elsholtzia splendens to copper

Li, Junmin, Liang, Huijuan, Yan, Ming, Chen, Luxi, Zhang, Huating, Liu, Jie, Wang, Suizi, Jin, Zexin
The Science of the total environment 2017 v.599-600 pp. 1462-1468
Elsholtzia splendens, acclimation, copper, copper sulfate, hypocotyls, metal tolerance, models, mycorrhizal fungi, seed germination, seedling growth, seedlings, seeds, vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae
Closely associated microbes have been shown to drive local adaptation of plants. However, few studies provide direct evidence, disclosing the role of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) in their rapid adaptation of plants toward heavy metal tolerance. Elsholtzia splendens is a Cu-tolerant plant that was used as a model plant to study seed morphological traits as well as traits related to seed germination and seedling growth. This was achieved after acclimation for two generations with 1000mg/kg CuSO4 in either absence or presence of AMF. In the absence of AMF, acclimation to Cu for two generations significantly decreased surface area, perimeter length, and perimeter width of E. splendens seeds, as well as seedling survival rate and fresh weight of the radicle of seedlings. However, in the presence of AMF, both the germination rate and the germination index of E. splendens seeds as well as the fresh weights of hypocotyl and radicle significantly increased. These results revealed that after Cu acclimation treatment, seeds and seedlings that had been inoculated with AMF outperformed those without AMF inoculation under Cu addition, indicating that AMF can facilitate rapid adaptation of E. splendens to Cu stress. In addition, two generations of Cu acclimation under AMF absence significantly increased radicle length, while amplitude increased under AMF presence, indicating that the direct adaptive plasticity response of radicle length to Cu stress helps with the Cu stress adaptation of E. splendens.