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Journal of Arid Land  2014, Vol. 6 Issue (2): 186-194    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0208-5
Research Articles     
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization of  Glycyrrhiza glabra roots enhances plant biomass, phosphorus uptake and concentration of root secondary metabolites
HongLing LIU1,2, Yong TAN3, Monika NELL2, Karin ZITTER-EGLSEER2, Chris WAWSCRAH2, Brigitte KOPP2, ShaoMing WANG4*, Johannes NOVAK1
1 Normal College, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832000, China;
2 Institute of Applied Botany, University of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinaerplatz 1, A-1210 Wien, Austria;
3 College of Pharmacy, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832002, China;
4 College of Life Sciences, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832000, China
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Abstract  Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi penetrate the cortical cells of the roots of vascular plants, and are widely distributed in soil. The formation of these symbiotic bodies accelerates the absorption and utilization of mineral elements, enhances plant resistance to stress, boosts the growth of plants, and increases the survival rate of transplanted seedlings. We studied the effects of various arbuscular mycorrhizae fungi on the growth and development of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Several species of AM, such as Glomus mosseae, Glomus intraradices, and a mixture of fungi (G. mosseae, G. intraradices, G. cladoideum, G. microagregatum, G. caledonium and G. etunicatum) were used in our study. Licorice growth rates were determined by measuring the colonization rate of the plants by the fungi, plant dry biomass, phosphorus concentration and concentration of secondary metabolites. We estab-lished two cloned strains of licorice, clone 3 (C3) and clone 6 (C6) to exclude the effect of genotypic variations. Our results showed that the AM fungi could in fact increase the leaf and root biomass, as well as the phosphorus concentration in each clone. Furthermore, AM fungi significantly increased the yield of certain secondary metabolites in clone 3. Our study clearly demonstrated that AM fungi play an important role in the enhancement of growth and development of licorice plants. There was also a significant improvement in the secondary metabolite content and yield of medicinal compounds from the roots.

Received: 06 June 2013      Published: 10 April 2014

The work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (2009CB825101), the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Technology Innovation Fund for Youth Project (2011CB02), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31000730), the Chun Hui Project Item of Ministry of Education of China (Z2006-1-83023) and the Great Science and Technology Research Program of the Shihezi University (gxjs2012-zdgg06-02).

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HongLing LIU, Yong TAN, Monika NELL, Karin ZITTER-EGLSEER, Chris WAWSCRAH, Brigitte KOPP, ShaoMing WANG, Johannes NOVAK. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization of  Glycyrrhiza glabra roots enhances plant biomass, phosphorus uptake and concentration of root secondary metabolites. Journal of Arid Land, 2014, 6(2): 186-194.

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