Acclimatisation of Rhizophagus irregularis enhances Zn tolerance of the fungus and the mycorrhizal plant partner
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi confer heavy metal tolerance to plants, but this characteristic differs between different AM fungal strains. We tested the hypotheses if acclimatization of an AM fungus to Zn stress is possible and if this leads also to higher Zn tolerance of mycorrhizal plants. The AM fungus Rhizophagus irregularis was acclimatized in root organ cultures (Daucus carota L.) to Zn resulting in an acclimatized (Acc+) strain. The non-acclimatized (Acc-) strain remained untreated. Fungal development and RNA accumulation of a set of stress-related genes were analyzed in root organ cultures and the capacity of conferring Zn tolerance to maize plants was investigated in pot cultures. Development of Acc+ strain was significantly higher than Acc- strain, when strains were grown in Zn-enriched root organ cultures, whereas the growth of the Acc+ strain was reduced on normal medium probably due to a higher Zn demand compared to the Acc- strain. RNA accumulation analyses revealed different expression patterns of genes encoding glutathione S-transferase (RiGST), superoxide dismutase (RiSOD) and glutaredoxin (RiGRX) between the two strains. Plants inoculated with the Acc+ strain showed higher biomass and lower Zn content than those inoculated with the Acc- strain. The results showed that R. irregularis can be acclimatized to increased amounts of Zn. This acclimatization leads not only to improved fungal development in Zn-stress conditions, but also to an increase of mycorrhiza-induced Zn tolerance of colonized plants.
Bui, VC.; Franken, P. 2018. Acclimatisation of Rhizophagus irregularis enhances Zn tolerance of the fungus and the mycorrhizal plant partner. Frontiers in Microbiology 9:3156.