Applied Sciences, Vol. 11, Pages 9466: Malus Antioxidant Metabolism Following Bacterial–Fungal Inoculation in Organic Farming: From Root to Fruit
Applied Sciences doi: 10.3390/app11209466
This study investigated the antioxidant status of roots, leaves, and fruit upon microbial inoculation (AMF+PGPR, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, respectively) of young organically farmed apple trees over two growing seasons. Three cultivars—‘Topaz’, ‘Chopin’, and ‘Odra’—were selected to test the relationship between inoculation and enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant components. The antioxidant metabolism was highly dependent on tissue type and growing season. The greatest effect on antioxidant status following application of the inoculum was found in roots, then leaves, but it was almost negligible in fruit. Roots were influenced most by application of the inoculum in the first growing season, while leaves were influenced most in the second season. Considerable differences between the inoculated and control plants were found for root glutathione reductase (GR) and catalase (CAT) activity, as well as glutathione and ascorbate contents; root phenolics were not influenced by inoculation. In the case of leaves, effect of microbial inoculation on GR activity was revealed in the first growing season, while for global phenolics in the second season, and only the concentration of glutathione was significantly higher in the leaves of inoculated trees in both growing seasons. Leaf ascorbate content and CAT activity were not influenced by the microbial inoculation. The control and inoculated trees expressed a similar total antioxidant capacity, irrespective of the tissue type tested. Furthermore, the response of the cultivars to inoculation varied and also changed in consecutive growing seasons. Based on this study, it is likely that the effect of microbial inoculum as a tool for enhancing health-promoting properties in the fruit of perennial plants is weaker than that described for vegetables where different plant organs are edible.
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