Induction of abiotic stress tolerance in plants by endophytic fungi hosted wild plants

Document Type : Original Article


1 Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Suez Canal University, Ismailia 41522, Egypt.

2 Department of Biology, College of Science, Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


The production of economically valuable plants, such as cucurbits and tomatoes, has been negatively impacted by a variety of living organisms and environmental factors. Endophytic fungi can trigger systemic resistance in their host plant, which enhances the plant's ability to withstand biotic stress and also improves its tolerance to abiotic challenges. In our continuing search for biologically active native fungi from Egypt with special reference to endophytic fungi, our teamwork screened endophytic fungi hosted wild plants from different ecological habitats. This investigation employed wild plant-hosted Trichoderma atroviride (PP055997.1), Fusarium acutatum (PP038127.1), and Aspergillus terreus (PP038155.1). The target plant was inoculated with these endophytes via seed, root dipping, and leaf spray. Colonisation with systemic fungal endophytes was tested on plant development at 12 weeks under 150 and 300 mM NaCl salt stress and 10 and 20% polyethylene glycol 6000 drought stress for 14 days. After 16 weeks following stress, the plants were taken to analyse growth and physiological data. A. terreus-colonized plants had higher biomass output and photosynthetic efficiency. The endophyte increased height biomass and fresh weight biomass, dry weight biomass at 150 and 300 mM NaCl and 10 and 20 % PEG 6000 respectively. On the other hand, oxidative activity of plants colonized with A. terreus was always lower in comparison to non-colonized control plants in response to salt and drought stress. The endophyte increased total chlorophyll, carotenoid, proline, and SOD content. Additionally, decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) content and electrolyte leakage (EL) by 50.39, 85.64, 48.23, and 75.10 % at 150 and 300 mM NaCl and 10 and 20 % PEG 6000 respectively.  We conclude that PP038155.1 has the potential to improve agriculture and horticulture on salinized and dry soils which are common phenomenon in semi-arid environments.


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