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Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi enhance antioxidant capacity of in vitro propagated garden thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.)

Zayova, Ely, Stancheva, Ira, Geneva, Maria, Hristozkova, Marieta, Dimitrova, Lyudmila, Petrova, Maria, Sichanova, Mariyana, Salamon, Ivan, Mudroncekova, Silvia
Symbiosis 2018 v.74 no.3 pp. 177-187
Claroideoglomus claroideum, Thymus vulgaris, alkaline phosphatase, antimicrobial properties, antioxidant activity, antioxidants, enzyme activity, explants, flavonoids, indole butyric acid, metabolites, mycorrhizal fungi, peroxidase, phenols, rhizosphere, roots, shoots, soil enzymes, superoxide dismutase, survival rate, urease, vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae
Garden thyme (Thymus vulgaris L., Lamiaceae) is an important aromatic herb used for its medicinal values including antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. The present study was performed to analyze the changes in natural antioxidants after inoculation of in vitro propagated garden thyme plants with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). An efficient and low-cost protocol for large-scale multiplication of this aromatic plant was developed. The explants were cultured on full and half strength Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing indole-3-butyric acid (IBA). The maximum number of shoots and roots was obtained on ½ MS medium supplemented with 0.1 mg L⁻¹ IBA after 4 weeks of culture. The successfully adapted in vitro plants (survival rate 95%) were inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Claroideoglomus claroideum, ref. EEZ 54). Plants were then transferred into field conditions. Mycorrhizal fungi enhanced the activity of some soil enzymes, acid and alkaline phosphatase, urease as well as the levels of extractable glomalin-related proteins in plant rhizosphere. Arbuscular mycorrhizal associations with higher plants promote the accumulation of antioxidant metabolites such as phenols and flavonoids and increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes. The results from the present study suggest enhanced antioxidant capacity of the inoculated T. vulgaris plants which was due mainly to increased accumulation of phenolic compounds (total phenols and flavonoids) together with stimulation of the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and guaiacol peroxidase (GPO).