In Vitro Morphogenesis of Arabidopsis to Search for Novel Endophytic Fungi Modulating Plant GrowthReport as inadecuate

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Fungal endophytes have shown to affect plant growth and to confer stress tolerance to the host; however, effects of endophytes isolated from water plants have been poorly investigated. In this study, fungi isolated from stems stem-E and roots root-E of Mentha aquatica L. water mint were identified, and their morphogenetic properties analysed on in vitro cultured Arabidopsis L. Heynh., 14 and 21 days after inoculation DAI. Nineteen fungi were analysed and, based on ITS analysis, 17 isolates showed to be genetically distinct. The overall effect of water mint endophytes on Arabidopsis fresh FW and dry weight DW was neutral and positive, respectively, and the increased DW, mainly occurring 14 DAI, was possibly related to plant defence mechanism. Only three fungi increased both FW and DW of Arabidopsis at 14 and 21 DAI, thus behaving as plant growth promoting PGP fungi. E-treatment caused a reduction of root depth and primary root length in most cases and inhibition-to-promotion of root area and lateral root length, from 14 DAI. Only Phoma macrostoma, among the water mint PGP fungi, increased both root area and depth, 21 DAI. Root depth and area 14 DAI were shown to influence DWs, indicating that the extension of the root system, and thus nutrient uptake, was an important determinant of plant dry biomass. Reduction of Arabidopsis root depth occurred to a great extent when plants where treated with stem-E while root area decreased or increased under the effects of stem-E and root-E, respectively, pointing to an influence of the endophyte origin on root extension. M. aquatica and many other perennial hydrophytes have growing worldwide application in water pollution remediation. The present study provided a model for directed screening of endophytes able to modulate plant growth in the perspective of future field applications of these fungi.

Author: Francesco Dovana , Marco Mucciarelli , Maurizio Mascarello, Anna Fusconi



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