Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials
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Soil salinity is a worldwide dilemma, restricting plant growth and production particularly in arid and semiarid regions. This
study is aimed to investigate the effects of arbuscularmycorrhizal (AM) fungus (
) on growth, flower yield,
salinity tolerance and mineral acquisition in kalanchoe (
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Polin
) plants under different levels of salinity.
Mycorrhizal (+AMF) and non-mycorrhizal (-AMF) kalanchoe plants were subjected to four levels of salinity (0, 50, 100 and
200 mMNaCl). The application of NaCl, especially at high levels; significantly reduced growth responses, flower parameters,
mineral contents, and levels of mycorrhizal colonization of mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizalKalanchoe plants comparing to
control plants. However, the rate of reduction was more pronounced in non-mycorrhizal treated plants. Leaves of AM kalanchoe
at the highest salt level were significantly greener (more chlorophyll) than those of the non-AM plants. MycorrhizalKalanchoe
plants significantly had higher biomass, plant height, leaf area, flower yield and concentrations of nutrients (P, N, K, Ca and
Mg) than the non-mycorrhizal plants irrigated with or without NaCl. Under salt stresses, AM colonization had greatly reduced
the mineral contents (Na and Cl) in leaf tissues of the Kalanchoe plants comparing to their equivalent of the non-mycorrhizal
plants. Interestingly, AM inoculations significantly increased salt tolerance index (STI) as compared to non-AM plants. Results
of this study suggest that AM fungi contribute alleviation of the deleterious effects of saline soils on growth and flowering yields
of the ornamental plants by improving mineral contents, mitigation of NaCl-induced ionic imbalance and increasing the salt
tolerance index of the plants.
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