Alleviation of salinity stress in plants by endophytic plant-fungal symbiosis: Current knowledge, perspectives and future directions

This review describes the performance of endophytic fungi applied to crops as a supplement to plant genetics or soil management to alleviate salt stress in crops

Sneha Gupta; Martino Schillaci; Robert Walker; Penelope M. C. Smith; Michelle Watt; Ute Roessner

2020

Scholarcy highlights

  • Salinization of soil with sodium chloride ions inhibits plant functions, causing reduction of yield of crops
  • A secondary process often associated with saline soils is alkalinisation, creating a condition known as sodicity
  • Colonization of several crops with endophytic fungi has been reported to induce systemic resistance to pathogens, mitigate stress by increasing the levels of protective metabolites and osmoprotectants, activate antioxidant systems to prevent damage caused by reactive oxygen species, decreasing salt induced root respiration and modulate the phytohormone profile to minimize salt effects on growth of plants
  • Increased P acquisition in endophyte colonized plants under saline conditions is attributed to increased availability of phosphates in soil due to the conversion of insoluble phosphates into soluble forms through the process of acidification, chelation and exchange reactions; ability of endophytic fungi to absorb P at lower thresholds owing to the expression of a high affinity Pi transporter, PiPT, and ability of endophytic fungi to interact with diverse rhizobacteria which have inorganic phosphate-solubilizing capabilities by virtue of production of a variety of organic acids and acid phosphatases
  • This study demonstrated that endophytic colonization promotes plant growth under saline conditions by modulating the expression level of the major Na+ and K+ ion channels, which helps in the establishment of a balanced ion homeostasis of Na+ and K+ under salt stress conditions
  • ContrerasCornejo et al evaluated the expression of the auxin-responsive marker gene DR5:uidA which was upregulated in ENC plants compared to their counterparts under saline conditions speculating that, by providing auxins, Trichoderma spp. could restore auxin homeostasis and, growth and development could be normalized when grown under salt stress

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