Colonization with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi improves salinity tolerance of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants

Roghieh Hajiboland, Nasser Aliasgharzad, Shirin Farsad Laiegh, Charlotte Poschenrieder

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359 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanisms underlying alleviation of salt stress by mycorrhization. Solanum lycopersicum L. cultivars Behta and Piazar with different salinity tolerance were cultivated in soil without salt (EC = 0.63 dSm-1), with low (EC = 5 dSm-1), or high (EC = 10 dSm-1) salinity. Plants inoculated with the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Glomus intraradices (+AMF) were compared to non-inoculated plants (-AMF). Under salinity, AMF-mediated growth stimulation was higher in more salt tolerant Piazar than in sensitive Behta. Mycorrhization alleviated salt-induced reduction of P, Ca, and K uptake. Ca/Na and K/Na ratios were also better in +AMF. However, growth improvement by AMF was independent from plant P nutrition under high salinity. Mycorrhization improved the net assimilation rates through both elevating stomatal conductance and protecting photochemical processes of PSII against salinity. Higher activity of ROS scavenging enzymes was concomitant with lowering of H2O2,less lipid peroxidation, and higher proline in +AMF. Cultivar differences in growth responses to salinity and mycorrhization could be well explained by differences in ion balance, photochemistry, and gas exchange of leaves. Function of antioxidant defenses seemed responsible for different AMF-responsiveness of cultivars under salinity. In conclusion, AMF may protect plants against salinity by alleviating the salt-induced oxidative stress. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-327
JournalPlant and Soil
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010


  • AMF responsiveness
  • Antioxidant defense system
  • Gas exchange
  • Ion balance
  • Photochemistry
  • Salinity


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