Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 473–481 | Cite as

Increase of multi-metal tolerance of three leguminous plants by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonization

  • Ai-Jun Lin
  • Xu-Hong Zhang
  • Ming-Hung Wong
  • Zhi-Hong Ye
  • Lai-Qing Lou
  • You-Shan Wang
  • Yong-Guan Zhu
Original Paper


A greenhouse pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of the colonization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF) Glomus mosseae on the growth and metal uptake of three leguminous plants (Sesbania rostrata, Sesbania cannabina, Medicago sativa) grown in multi-metal contaminated soil. AMF colonization increased the growth of the legumes, indicating that AMF colonization increased the plant’s resistance to heavy metals. It also significantly stimulated the formation of root nodules and increased the N and P uptake of all of the tested leguminous plants, which might be one of the tolerance mechanisms conferred by AMF. Compared with the control, colonization by G. mosseae decreased the concentration of metals, such as Cu, in the shoots of the three legumes, indicating that the decreased heavy metals uptake and growth dilution were induced by AMF treatment, thereby reducing the heavy metal toxicity to the plants. The root/shoot ratios of Cu in the three legumes and Zn in M. sativa were significantly increased (P < 0.05) with AMF colonization, indicating that heavy metals were immobilized by the mycorrhiza and the heavy metal translocations to the shoot were decreased.


Sesbania Medicago sativa Glomus mosseae A. caulinodans Heavy metals 



This work was financially supported by the Research Grants Council (HKBU2181/03M), Hong Kong, China, the Ministry of Science and Technology (2002CB410808), China and the Young Scholars Fund of Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China (QN0603).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ai-Jun Lin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Xu-Hong Zhang
    • 4
  • Ming-Hung Wong
    • 2
  • Zhi-Hong Ye
    • 5
  • Lai-Qing Lou
    • 2
  • You-Shan Wang
    • 6
  • Yong-Guan Zhu
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and EngineeringBeijing University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingPR China
  2. 2.Croucher Institute for Environmental SciencesHong Kong Baptist UniversityHong KongPR China
  3. 3.Research Center for Eco-environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPR China
  4. 4.Beijing City UniversityBeijingPR China
  5. 5.State Key Laboratory for Bio-Control, School of Life ScienceSun Yat-sen (Zhongshan) UniversityGuangzhouPR China
  6. 6.The Institute of Plant Nutrition and ResourcesBeijing Academy of Agriculture and ForestBeijingPR China

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