Effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on the growth and toxic element uptake of Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud under zinc/cadmium stress.Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2021 Apr 15; 213:112023.EE
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) play an important role in improving plant tolerance and accumulation of zinc (Zn) and cadmium (Cd). The growth, physiology and absorption of elements and transport in Phragmites australis (P. australis) were investigated under Zn and Cd stress to identify the transport mechanisms of toxic trace elements (TE) under the influence of AMF. Thus, AMF were observed to alleviate the toxic effects of Zn and Cd on P. australis by increasing plant biomass and through different regulatory patterns under different TE concentrations. The activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) increased under Zn stress, and the activities of SOD, catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), and APX significantly increased under high concentrations of Cd. AMF differ in their strategies of regulating the transport of different metals under TE stress. Under Zn stress, the concentration of Zn in P. australis decreased by 10-57%, and the effect on Zn translocation factor (TFZn) was concentration-dependent. AMF increased the TFZn under low concentration stress, but decreased under high concentration stress. Under Cd stress, the concentration of Cd increased by as much as 17-40%, and the TFCd decreased. AMF were also found to change the interaction of Zn×Cd. In the absence of AMF, Cd exposure decreased the Zn concentrations in P. australis at Zn100 mg/L and Zn300 mg/L, while it increased the contents of Zn at Zn700 mg/L. The opposite trend was observed following treatment with AMF. However, regardless of the concentration of Cd, the addition of Zn decreased the concentration of Cd in both treatments in both the presence and absence of AMF. Under different TE stress conditions, the regulation of metal elements by AMF in host plants does not follow a single strategy but a trade-off between different trends of transportations. The findings of our study are important for applying AMF-P. australis systems in the phytoremediation of Zn-Cd co-contaminated ecosystems.