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Endophytic community of Pb-Zn hyperaccumulator Arabis alpina and its role in host plants metal tolerance

Sharma, Vijay K., Li, Xin-ya, Wu, Guang-li, Bai, Wei-xiao, Parmar, Shobhika, White Jr, James F., Li, Hai-yan
Plant and soil 2019 v.437 no.1-2 pp. 397-411
Arabis alpina, abiotic stress, biomass, biotic stress, cadmium, endophytes, fungi, host plants, hyperaccumulators, lead, metal tolerance, plant tissues, polluted soils, roots, seeds, shoots, stress tolerance, zinc
AIMS: Endophytes benefit host plants by increasing biotic and abiotic stress tolerance. The aims of this study were to evaluate endophytic community (EC) of Arabis alpina, a Pb-Zn hyperaccumulator and investigate role of EC in host plants metal tolerance. METHODS: EC of A. alpina growing at Pb–Zn mining area was evaluated by Illumina MiSeq sequencing. Pot experiments were conducted for the role of EC in metal accumulation and tolerance of host. RESULTS: Fungal EC of shoots showed greater similarity to roots than to seeds; and Chao1 and Shannon indices for shoots and roots were significantly higher than for seeds. Inoculation of EC significantly improved host plants growth under multi-metal stress (p < 0.05, T test). The shoot length, root length and dry biomass of the treatment were improved when compared with the control. EC inoculation significantly altered accumulation of Pb, Cd and Zn in plant tissues. Particularly decreased the accumulation of Pb (p < 0.05) and Cd (p > 0.05) in the shoots of the treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Hyperaccumulator A. alpina growing in metals contaminated soils was colonized by a diverse assemblage of endophytic fungi, and the EC played a key role in increasing host plants metal tolerance.