Impact of arbuscular mycorrhiza on the St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) wilt disease induced by Colletotrichum cf. gloeosporioides
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The importance of herbal plants is evident in the prevalent use as flavoring ingredients in food. However, meeting the growing demand for organic grown spices and ‘medicinal plants’ of regional origin is often hampered by technical difficulties during cultivation. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can support their host, by helping them to adapt to prevailing local conditions and thus increase the health of the plants.
The aim of the present work was to evaluate the effects of arbuscular mycorrhiza (AMF) on the plant’s health, using St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) - Colletotrichum cf. gloeosporioides (Cfg) as the model plant pathosystem.
Following inoculation with AMF, the attack of St. John’s wort with Cfg led to a clear reduction in wilting of the two St. John’s wort cultivars. Furthermore, the yield of mycor-rhizal plants increased compared to non-mycorrhizal plants, irrespective of whether they were pathogen-infected or not. Compared to non-mycorrhizal plants, in mycorrhizal plants levels of ascorbic acid were elevated and activity of antioxidant enzymes increased after inoculation with Cfg. Furthermore, in mycorrhizal plants the progress in lipid peroxidation following pathogen attack was reduced, suggesting that the reduction of lipid peroxidation and the induction of antioxidants may play a crucial role in the plant’s defense against Cfg.
KeywordsAMF antioxidative enzymes antioxidants lipid peroxidation disease resistance
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