Interactive effects of exogenous melatonin and Rhizophagus intraradices on saline-alkaline stress tolerance in Leymus chinensis

Melatonin, a ubiquitous molecule found in almost all organisms, is considered an important regulator in plant growth. However, little is known about the interactive effect of melatonin and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi on plant resistance against soil salinity and alkalinity. To fill in such a gap in knowledge, we conducted three experiments to explore (1) whether exogenous melatonin and an AM fungus had interactive effects on plant response to saline-alkaline stress, (2) whether the influence of melatonin on mycorrhizal plant stress tolerance was attributable to effect on the AM fungus, and (3) whether the effect of melatonin application was due to changes in soil salinity and alkalinity. We found interactive effects between melatonin and the AM fungus on alleviating ROS burst, decreasing malondialdehyde content and protecting Leymus chinensis photosynthetic activity through activation of antioxidant enzyme and gene expression (superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, and glutathione reductase) in plant shoots and roots. Our results showed that exogenous melatonin promoted spore germination and hyphal length of the AM fungus under Petri-dish conditions. However, exogenous melatonin application did not exhibit significant effects on soil salinity and alkalinity. This study provides an insight into the beneficial effects of exogenous melatonin on saline-alkaline stress tolerance in mycorrhizal L. chinensis through regulating antioxidant systems, protecting photosynthetic activity, and promoting associated AM fungal growth without changing soil salinity and alkalinity. It also reveals potential applications of exogenous melatonin and AM fungi for the restoration of saline-alkaline degraded grassland. © 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Yang Y.1 , Cao Y.1 , Li Z.1 , Zhukova A. 1, 2 , Yang S.1 , Wang J. 1 , Tang Z.1 , Cao Y.1 , Zhang Y. 3 , Wang D.1
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  • 1 State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Vegetation Restoration, Key Laboratory for Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory of Ecological Restoration and Ecosystem Management, School of Environment, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, 130117, China
  • 2 Ecological Faculty, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 3 Jilin Provincial Academy of Forestry Sciences, Changchun, 130033, China
Ключевые слова
Antioxidant enzymes; Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; Gas exchange; Leymus chinensis; Melatonin
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