Contributions of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi to Growth, Biomass and Nutrient Status of Pistachio Seedlings under Saline Conditions

Document Type: Research Article


1 Department of Biology, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Damghan, Iran

2 Department of Food Science and Technology, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Damghan, Iran


Excessive salt accumulation in soil is a major ecological and agronomical problem, especially in arid and semiarid areas. Excessive soil salinity affects the establishment, development and growth of plants, resulting in major losses of production. A pot experiment was set up to examine the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (Glomus etunicatum and Glomus versiforme) and salinity on the growth, pigment concentration, biomass and nutrient acquisition of pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) seedlings. Two-month-old pistachio seedlings colonized by G. etunicatum and G. versiforme were irrigated with 0 and 150 mM NaCl solution for 45 days to induce salt stress. The results showed that salt stress significantly reduced mycorrhizal colonization in pistachio seedlings, and G. versiforme was found to be more colonized than G. etunicatum. Mycorrhizal inoculation, especially G. versiforme, had higher plant growth, biomass and pigment content than non-mycorrhizal under control and salt stress treatments. Shoot Na concentrations were lower in mycorrhizal than in non-mycorrhizal seedlings under given salinity conditions. Total P, K, N, Ca macronutrients and micronutrients decreased with soil salinity in both mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal seedlings. These nutrients were higher in AM, especially G. versiforme, than in NM seedlings in control and salt stress treatment. The results suggested that mycorrhizal, especially G. versiforme, pistachio plants exhibited greater efficiency in alleviating salt stress, which resulted in better growth.


Abbaspour H, (2010) Investigation of the Effects of Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhiza on Mineral Nutrition and Growth of Carthamus tinctorius under Salt Stress Conditions.Russian Journal of Plant Physiology. 57(4), 526–531.

Abbaspour H, Saeidi-Sar S, Afshari H, Abdel-Wahhab MA, (2012)Tolerance of Mycorrhiza infected Pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) Seedling to Drought Stress
under Glasshouse Conditions. Journal of Plant Physiology. 169, 704– 709.

Al-Karaki GN, Clark RB (1998) Growth Mineral Acquisition and Water use by Mycorrhizal Wheat Grown under Water Stress. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 21, 263–276.

Allen EB, Cunningham GL (1983) Effects of Vesicular
Arbuscular Mycorrhizae on Distichlis Spicata under Three Salinity Levels. New Phytologist. 93, 227–236.

Arnon DJ (1949) Copper Enzyme in Isolated Chloroplasts Polyphenol Oxidase in Beta vulgaris. Plant Physiology. 24, 1–15.

Asghari HR (2008) Vesicular-Arbuscular (VA) Mycorrhizae improve salinity tolerance in pre-inoculation subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum) seedlings. International Journal of Plant Production. 2, 243–256.

Auge RM, Foster JG, Loescher WH, Stodola AW (1992) Symplastic sugar and free amino molality of rosa roots with regard to mycorrhizal colonization and drought. Symbiosis. 12, 1-17.

Colla G, Rouphael Y, Cardarelli M, Tullio M, Rivera CM, Rea E (2008) Alleviation of salt stress by arbuscular mycorrhizal in zucchini plants grown at low and high phosphorus concentration. Biology and Fertility of Soils. . 44, 501–509.

Dudhane M, Borde M, Jite PK (2011) Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on growth and antioxidant activity in Gmelina Arborea Roxb under salt Stress condition. Notulae Scientia Biologicae. 3(4), 71-78.

Evelin H, Giri B, Kapoor R (2012) Contribution of Glomus intradices Inoculation to Nutrient Acquisition and Mitigation 0f Ionic Imbalance in NaCl Stressed Trigonella graecum. Mycorrhiza. 22, 203-217.

Evelin H, Kapoor R, Giri B (2009)  Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Alleviation of Salt Stress. Annals of Botany. 104, 1263-1280.

Giri B, Kapoor R, Mukerji KG VA (2002) Mycorrhizal Techniques/VAM Technology in Establishment of Plants under Salinity Stress Conditions, Kluwer. Dordrecht. 313– 327.

Giri B, Kapoor R, Mukerji KG (2007) Improved Tolerance of Acacia nilotica to Salt Stress by Arbuscular Mycorrhiza, Glomus fasciculatum may be Partly Related to Elevated K/Na Ratios in Root and Shoot Tissues. Microbial Ecology.54, 753–760.

Gould KS, Kuhn DN, Lee DW, Oberbauer ST (1995) Why Leaves are Sometimes Red. Nature. 378, 241–242.

Helgason T., Fitter AH (2009) Natural Selection and the Evolutionary Ecology of the Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (Phylum Glomeromycota). Journal of Experimental Botany. 60, 2465-2480.

Juniper S, Abbott LK (2006) Soil Salinity Delays Germination and Limits Growth of Hyphae from Propagules of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi. Mycorrhiza. 15, 371–379.

Kholer J, Hernandes JA, Caravaca F, Roldan A (2009) Induction of Antioxidant Enzymes is Involved in the Greater Eeffectiveness of a PGPR Versus AM Fungi with Respect to Increasing the Tolerance of Lettuce to Severe Salt Stress. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 65, 245-252.

Kumar A, Sharma JA, Mishra S (2010) Influence of
Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) Fungi and Salinity on Seedlings Growth, Solute Accumulation and Mycorrhizal Dependency of Jatropha curcas L. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation. 29, 297-306.

Miransari M, Bahrami HA, Rejali F, Malakouti MJ (2008) Using Arbuscular Mycorrhiza to Reduce the Stressful Effects of Soil Compaction on Wheat (Triticum estivum l.) Growth. Soil Biologyand
. 40, 1197-1206.

Phillips JM, Hayman DS (1970) Improved Procedures For Clearing Roots and Staining Parasitic and Vesicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi for Rapid Assessment of Infection, Trans. British Mycological Society. 55, 158–161.

Porcel R, Aroca R, Ruiz-Lozano JM (2012) Salinity Stress Alleviation using Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi. Review Agronomy for Sustainable Development. 32, 181-200.

Rabie GH, Almadini AM (2005) Role of Bioinoculants in Development of Salt-Tolerance of Vicia faba Plants under Salinity Stress. African Journal of
. 4, 210–222.

Ruiz-Lozano JM, Azcon R (2000) Symbiotic Efficiency and Infectivity of an Autochthonous Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Glomus sp. From Saline Soils and
Glomus deserticola
under Salinity. Mycorrhiza. 10, 137–143.

Schellenbaum L, Berta G, Ravolanirina F, Tisserant B, Gianinazzi S, Fitter AH (1991) Influence of Endomycorrhizal Infection on Root Morphology in a Micropropagated Woody Plant Species (Vitis vinifera L.). Annals of Botany. 68, 135-141.

Sheng M, Tang M, Chen H, Yang B, Zhang F, Huang Y (2008) Influence of Arbuscular Mycorrhizae on Photosynthesis and Water Status of Maize Plants under Salt Stress. Mycorrhiza. 18, 287–296.

Teakle NL, Real D., Colmer TD, Growth and Ion Relations in Response to Combined Salinity and Waterlogging in the Perennial Forage Legumes Lotus corniculatus and Lotus tenuis. Plant and Soil. 2006, 289, 369–383.

Van der Heijden MG, Horton TR (2009) The Importance of Mycorrhizal Fungal Networks for Facilitation in Natural Ecosystems. Journal of Applied Ecology. 97, 1139-1150.

Van Hoorn JW, Katerji N, Hamdy A, Mastrorilli M (2001) Effect of Salinity on Yield and Nitrogen uptake of Four Grain Legumes and on Biological Nitrogen Contribution from the Soil. Agricultural Water Management. 51, 87–90

Wu QS, Zou YN (2009) Adaptive Responses of Birch Leaved Pear (Pyrus Betulaefolia) Seedlings to
Salinity Stress. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca. 37, 133–138.

Yamasaki H, Uefuji H, Sakihama Y (1996) Bleaching of the Red Anthocyanin Induced by Superoxide Radical. Archives ofBiochemistryand Biophysics. 332, 183–186.