Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2019, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (1): 37-45.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2018.0261

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on the root growth of male and female Populus cathayana individuals grown under different sexual combination patterns

GAO Wen-Tong1,ZHANG Chun-Yan1,2,DONG Ting-Fa1,2,XU Xiao1,2,*()   

  1. 1 College of Life Sciences, China West Normal University, Nanchong, Sichuan 637009, China
    2 Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation (China West Normal University), Ministry of Education, Nanchong, Sichuan 637009, China
  • Received:2018-10-29 Accepted:2019-01-09 Online:2019-01-20 Published:2019-04-25
  • Contact: XU Xiao
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31370596)

Abstract:

Aims Accumulating evidence suggests that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can promote the growth of plant roots. However, the effects of AMF on the root growth of dioecious plants, particularly those grown under different sexual combination patterns, remain largely unknown, this study therefore aimed at improving our understanding of the roles of AMF in these systems.
Methods In the present study, homogenized soil (river sand:surface soil:vermiculite = 1:1:1, volume ratio) was used as growth substrate. The Populus cathayana saplings uninoculated and inoculated with AMF under three sex combination patterns (male vs. male, MM; female vs. female, FF; male vs. female, MF) were defined as control (CK) and AMF treatment group, respectively. Subsequently, we compared the differences in colonization rate, root dry mass, root morphology, carbon (C) content and nitrogen (N) content between CK and AMF treatments under different sexual combination patterns.
Important findings Our results indicated that colonization rate, root dry mass, root morphology (except root branching intensity, specific root surface area) and C, N content were remarkably altered upon inoculation with AMF in comparison to uninoculated controls. Furthermore, the sexual combination patterns were shown to significantly affect root dry mass, root morphology and C, N content of male and female P. cathayana. After inoculation with AMF, root dry mass, root morphology and N content of female individuals were increased whereas these parameters of males were decreased or slightly increased in inter-sexual groups compared with the respective intra-sexual groups. Collectively, our data demonstrate the growth-promoting effects of AMF on the roots of P. cathayana individuals grown under different sexual combination patterns, and such beneficial effects are most pronounced in females grown under inter-sexual combination patterns.

Key words: arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Populus cathayana, dioecious, cultivation pattern, root growth