Comparison of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal effects on the heavy metal uptake of a host and a non-host plant species in contact with extraradical mycelial network.Chemosphere. 2017 Mar; 171:476-484.C
The effects of inoculation with an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus on Cd and Ni tolerance and uptake in Medicago sativa, an AM host, and Sesuvium portulacastrum, a non-host plant, were investigated in a greenhouse experiment. The plants were cultivated in sterilized sand in a two-compartmented system, which prevented root competition but enabled colonization of the whole substrate by AM fungal extraradical mycelium. M. sativa was either left non-inoculated or inoculated with the AM fungus Rhizophagus irregularis, and both plants were either cultivated without heavy metal (HM) addition or supplied with cadmium (Cd) or nickel (Ni), each in two doses. Additional pots with singly cultivated plants were established to control for the effect of the co-cultivation. AM significantly enhanced the growth of M. sativa and substantially increased its uptake of both HMs. The roots of S. portulacastrum became colonized by AM fungal hyphae and vesicles. The presence of the AM fungus in the cultivation system tended to increase the HM uptake of S. portulacastrum, but the effect was less consistent and pronounced than that in M. sativa. We conclude that AM fungal mycelium radiating from M. sativa did not negatively affect the growth and HM uptake of S. portulacastrum. On the contrary, we hypothesize that it stimulated the absorption and translocation of Cd and Ni in the non-host species. Thus, our results suggest that AM fungal mycelium radiating from mycorrhizal plants does not decrease the HM uptake of non-host plants, many of which are considered promising candidate plants for phytoremediation.