Agronomy, Vol. 11, Pages 2049: The Promotion of Festuca sinensis under Heavy Metal Treatment Mediated by Epichloë Endophyte
Agronomy doi: 10.3390/agronomy11102049
To more clearly clarify the relationship between the Epichloë endophyte and its host, F. sinensis, the effects of Epichloë endophyte on F. sinensis performance under heavy metal treatment was investigated. The growth performance and physiology variations of F. sinensis with (E+) and without the endophyte (E−) were evaluated after they were subjected to Zn2+ and Cd2+ treatments. The results showed that heavy metal treatments had significant effects on plants, as the performance of plants under Zn2+ and Cd2+ treatments was significantly different with plants under control treatment (p &lt; 0.05). Cd2+ treatments showed a hormesis effect, whereas Zn2+ did not. The endophyte increased host heavy metal stress tolerance by promoting host growth as the E+ plants had significantly higher plant height, tiller number, root length (p &lt; 0.05). The endophyte also promoted ion uptake by the host and induced endogenous hormone production (p &lt; 0.05). These results suggested that the Epichloë endophyte regulated host growth and physiology to improve association tolerance to environmental conditions. This study provides another example that the Epichloë endophyte can increase plant tolerance to metal stress.
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