Nano-enabled improvements of growth and colonization rate in wheat inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.Environ Pollut. 2022 Feb 15; 295:118724.EP
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi display desired potential to boost crop productivity and drought acclimation. Yet, whether nanoparticles can be incorporated into arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi for better improvement and its relevant morphologic and anatomical evidences are little documented. Pot culture experiment on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was conducted under drought stress (30% FWC) as well as well watered conditions (80% FWC) that involved priming of wheat seeds with iron nanoparticles at different concentrations (5mg L-1, 10 mg L-1 and 15 mg L-1) with and without the inoculation of Glomus intraradices. The effects of treatments were observed on morphological and physiological parameters across jointing, anthesis and maturity stage. Root colonization and nanoparticle uptake trend by seeds and roots was also recorded. We observed strikingly high enhancement in biomass up to 109% under drought and 71% under well-watered conditions, and grain yield increased to 163% under drought and 60% under well-watered conditions. Iron nanoparticles at 10 mg L-1 when combined with Glomus intraradices resulted in maximum wheat growth and yield, which mechanically resulted from higher rhizosphere colonization level, water use efficiency and photosynthetic rate under drought stress (P < 0.01). Across growth stages, optical micrograph observations affirmed higher root infection rate when combined with nanoparticles. Transmission electron microscopy indicated the penetration of nanoparticles into the seeds and translocation across roots whereas energy dispersive X-ray analyses further confirmed the presence of Fe in these organs. Iron nanoparticles significantly enhanced the growth-promoting and drought-tolerant effects of Glomus intraradices on wheat.