Mycorrhizosphere bacteria inhibit chromium uptake and phytotoxicity by regulating proline metabolism, antioxidant defense system, and aquaporin gene expression in tomato

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2024 Mar 8. doi: 10.1007/s11356-024-32755-7. Online ahead of print.


Chromium (Cr) contamination in soil-plant systems poses a pressing environmental challenge due to its detrimental impacts on plant growth and human health. Results exhibited that Cr stress decreased shoot biomass, root biomass, leaf relative water content, and plant height. However, single and co-application of Bacillus subtilis (BS) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) considerably enhanced shoot biomass (+ 21%), root biomass (+ 2%), leaf relative water content (+ 26%), and plant height (+ 13) under Cr stress. The frequency of mycorrhizal (F) association (+ 5%), mycorrhizal colonization (+ 13%), and abundance of arbuscules (+ 5%) in the non-stressed soil was enhanced when inoculated with combined BS and AMF as compared to Cr-stressed soil. The co-inoculation with BS and AMF considerably enhanced total chlorophyll, carotenoids, and proline content in Cr-stressed plants. Cr-stressed plants resulted in attenuated response in SOD, POD, CAT, and GR activities when inoculated with BS and AMF consortia by altering oxidative stress biomarkers (H2O2 and MDA). In Cr-stressed plants, the combined application of BS and AMF considerably enhanced proline metabolism, for instance, P5CR (+ 17%), P5CS (+ 28%), OAT (- 22%), and ProDH (- 113%) as compared to control. Sole inoculation with AMF downregulated the expression of SIPIP2;1, SIPIP2;5, and SIPIP2;7 in Cr-stressed plants. However, the expression of NCED1 was downregulated with the application of sole AMF. In contrast, the relative expression of Le4 was upregulated in the presence of AMF and BS combination in Cr-stressed plants. Therefore, it is concluded that co-application of BS and AMF enhanced Cr tolerance by enhancing proline metabolism, antioxidant enzymes, and aquaporin gene expression. Future study might concentrate on elucidating the molecular processes behind the synergistic benefits of BS and AMF, as well as affirming their effectiveness in field experiments under a variety of environmental situations. Long-term research on the effect of microbial inoculation on soil health and plant production might also help to design sustainable chromium remediation solutions.

PMID:38456983 | DOI:10.1007/s11356-024-32755-7