Plant roots interact with a wide variety of rhizospheric microorganisms, including bacteria and the symbiontic arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. The mycorrhizal symbiosis represents a series of complex feedbacks between plant and fungus regulated by their physiology and nutrition. Despite the widespread distribution and ecological significance of AM symbiosis, little is known about the potential of AM fungi to affect plant VOC metabolism. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether colonization of plant roots by AM fungi and associated soil microorganisms affects VOC emission and content of Artemisia annua L. plants (Asteraceae). Two inoculum types were evaluated: one consisted of only an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus species (Glomus spp.), and the other was a mixture of different Glomus species and associated soil bacteria. Inoculated plants were compared with non-inoculated plants and with plants supplemented with extra phosphorus (P) to obtain plants of the same size as mycorrhizal plants, thus excluding potentially-confounding mycorrhizal effects on shoot growth. VOC emissions of Artemisia annua plants were analyzed by leaf cuvette sampling followed by off-line measurements with pre-concentration and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Measurements of CO2 and H2O exchanges were conducted simultaneously. Several volatile monoterpenes were identified and characterized from leaf emissions of Artemisia annua L. by GC-MS analysis. The main components identified belong to different monoterpene structures: α-pinene, β-pinene, camphor, 1,8-cineole, limonene, and artemisia ketone. A good correlation between monoterpene leaf concentration and leaf emission was found. Leaf extracts included also several sesquiterpenes. Total terpene content and emission was not affected by AM inoculation with or without bacteria, while emission of limonene and artemisia ketone was stimulated by this treatment. No differences were found among treatments for single monoterpene content, while accumulation of specific sesquiterpenes in leaves was altered in mycorrhizal plants compared to control plants. Growth conditions seemed to have mainly contributed to the outcome of the symbiosis and influenced the magnitude of the plant response. These results highlight the importance of considering the below-ground interaction between plant and soil for estimating VOC emission rates and their ecological role at multitrophic levels. © 2007 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2008|
- Arbuscular mycorrhiza