Arbuscular mycorrhizae enhance metal lead uptake and growth of host plants under a sand culture experiment.Chemosphere. 2005 Jul; 60(5):665-71.C
A sand culture experiment was conducted to investigate whether mycorrhizal colonization and mycorrhizal fungal vesicular numbers were influenced by metal lead, and whether mycorrhizae enhance host plants tolerance to metal lead. Metal lead was applied as Pb(NO3)2 in solution at three levels (0, 300 and 600 mg kg(-1) sand). Five mycorrhizal host plant species, Kummerowia striata (Thunb.) Schindl, Ixeris denticulate L., Lolium perenne L., Trifolium repens L. and Echinochloa crusgalli var. mitis were used to examine Pb-mycorrhizal interactions. The arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculum consisted of mixed spores of mycorrhizal fungal species directly isolated from orchard soil. Compared to the untreated control, both Pb concentrations reduced mycorrhizal colonization by 3.8-70.4%. Numbers of AM fungal vesicles increased by 13.2-51.5% in 300 mg Pb kg(-1) sand but decreased by 9.4-50.9% in 600 mg Pb kg(-1) sand. Mycorrhizae significantly enhanced Pb accumulation both in shoot by 10.2-85.5% and in root by 9.3-118.4%. Mycorrhizae also enhanced shoot biomass and shoot P concentration under both Pb concentrations. Root/shoot ratios of Pb concentration were higher in highly mycorrhizal plant species (K.striata, I. denticulate, and E. crusgalli var. mitis) than that in poorly mycorrhizal ones (L. perenne and T. repens,). Mycorrhizal inoculation increased the root/shoot ratio of Pb concentration of highly mycorrhizal plant species by 7.6-57.2% but did not affect the poorly mycorrhizal ones. In the treatments with 300 Pb mg kg(-1) sand, plant species with higher vesicular numbers tended to show higher root/shoot ratios of the Pb concentration. We suggest that under an elevated Pb condition, mycorrhizae could promote plant growth by increasing P uptake and mitigate Pb toxicity by sequestrating more Pb in roots.