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Microb Ecol. 2008 Jan;55(1):45-53. Epub 2007 Mar 29.

Influence of salinity on the in vitro development of Glomus intraradices and on the in vivo physiological and molecular responses of mycorrhizal lettuce plants.

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  • 1Departamento de Microbiología del Suelo y Sistemas Simbióticos, Estación Experimental del Zaidín (CSIC), Prof. Albareda, 1. 18008, Granada, Spain.


Increased salinization of arable land is expected to have devastating global effects in the coming years. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have been shown to improve plant tolerance to abiotic environmental factors such as salinity, but they can be themselves negatively affected by salinity. In this study, the first in vitro experiment analyzed the effects of 0, 50, or 100 mM NaCl on the development and sporulation of Glomus intraradices. In the second experiment, the effects of mycorrhization on the expression of key plant genes expected to be affected by salinity was evaluated. Results showed that the assayed isolate G. intraradices DAOM 197198 can be regarded as a moderately salt-tolerant AMF because it did not significantly decrease hyphal development or formation of branching absorbing structures at 50 mM NaCl. Results also showed that plants colonized by G. intraradices grew more than nonmycorrhizal plants. This effect was concomitant with a higher relative water content in AM plants, lower proline content, and expression of Lsp5cs gene (mainly at 50 mM NaCl), lower expression of the stress marker gene Lslea gene, and lower content of abscisic acid in roots of mycorrhizal plants as compared to nonmycorrhizal plants, which suggest that the AM fungus decreased salt stress injury. In addition, under salinity, AM symbiosis enhanced the expression of LsPIP1. Such enhanced gene expression could contribute to regulating root water permeability to better tolerate the osmotic stress generated by salinity.

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