Endophytic Fungus Improves Growth and Metal Uptake of Lolium Arundinaceum Darbyshire Ex. Schreb.
The effect of endophyte infection on plant growth, cadmium (Cd) uptake, and Cd translocation was investigated using tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum) grown in greenhouses in contaminated solution. Endophyte infection significantly increased tiller number and biomass of the host grass under both control and Cd-stress conditions. Endophyte infection not only enhanced Cd accumulation in tall fescue, but also improved Cd transport from the root to the shoot. Under 20 mg L−1 Cd stress, the phytoextraction efficiency of endophyte-infected (EI) tall fescue was 2.41-fold higher than endophyte-free plants. Although the total Cd accumulation in EI tall fescue was insufficient for practical phytoextraction applications, the observed high biomass production and tolerance of stress from abiotic factors including heavy metals, gives endophyte/plant associations the potential to be a model for endophyte-assisted phytoremediation of metal-polluted soils.
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