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Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on tolerance and growth of selected spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) lines under salinity stress

Junjie Yu, Bahram Baninasab, Shuhui Xu, Mirko Tabori, Yuxue Zhang, Xuelian Wang, Ian DeSchiffart, Yolande Dalpé, Franck Stefani , Sylvie Séguin, Baoluo Ma, Chenwu Xu, & Shahrokh Khanizadeh, 2017. Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on tolerance and growth of selected spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) lines under salinity stress. Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment (JFAE) Vol.15 (3&4):40- 47

Abstract

Much effort has been made to overcome soil salinity stress through modern breeding and cultural practices, but these methods may be costly and labour-intensive. The use of naturally occurring fungi such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) could be a practical, economical and sustainable solution. An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of different AMF on spring wheat cultivars in terms of crop productivity, grain quality and mechanisms of salt tolerance. Five wheat cultivars (AAC Scotia, AC Carberry, Major, Sable, and 13NQW1263) were inoculated with three AMF (Rhizoglomus aggregatum, Glomus cubense and the commercial AMF inoculum Myke (R. irregulare)) and grown under three levels of salt concentrations (0, 50 or 100 mM). Relative leaf chlorophyll content, chlorophyll fluorescence ratio Fv/Fm, membrane stability index, root colonization, shoot dry weight, number of grains per plant, grain yield and grain protein content decreased considerably with increasing salinity level. Inoculation with AMF protected the wheat against the adverse effects of salinity and improved the above parameters significantly, and the effectiveness of mycorrhizal inoculation was more marked under salt stress. In addition, the interaction between AMF and wheat cultivars had a significant effect on all parameters except Fv/Fm ratio and number of heads per plant. In comparison with the other AMF species, R. aggregatum was most effective in improving grain yield and grain protein content and this effect was consistent in all the tested wheat cultivars. These results indicate that AMF can alleviate the effect of salinity and that an appropriate selection of AMF is essential in order to improve the agronomic characteristics of wheat cultivars under stress salinity.

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