Influence of VA-mycorrhiza on drought tolerance of flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) II. Effect of VA-mycorrhiza on stomatal gas exchange, shoot water potential, phosphorus nutrition and the accumulation of stress metabolites

Reichenbach, H.G. von; Schonbeck, F.

Journal of Applied Botany 69(5-6): 183-188


ISSN/ISBN: 0949-5460
Accession: 002870774

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In experiments conducted in a greenhouse and in a growth chamber the influence of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizas (VAM) on oilseed and fibre flax [Linum usitatissimum] was investigated. The plants were periodically drought stressed or alternatively kept under a permanently increased substrate water tension. VAM intensified stomatal gas exchange and also had an influence on the shoot water potential. Phosphorus nutrition was improved by symbiosis. Mycorrhizal roots particularly showed high P-concentrations after drought stress. The VAM isolate 515 which increased plant P content the most had least effect on growth. The drought stress metabolite trigonelline was considerably reduced in the shoots of mycorrhizal flax. The following VAM effects contributed to the improved drought tolerance of flax: lowered sensitivity to stress, causing less disturbance of the metabolic homeostasis, higher assimilation combined with lower increase in transpiration, enhanced root conductance, possibly a result of an effect on plasmalemma permeability, and an altered relationship between the water content and the water tension of the substrate (pF-curve).