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Mycorrhizal fungi and microalgae modulate antioxidant capacity of basil plants

Marieta Hristozkova1*, Liliana Gigova2, Maria Geneva1, Ira Stancheva1, Ivanina Vasileva2,Mariana Sichanova1, Janet Mincheva1

 

1Laboratory “Plant-Soil Interactions”, Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

2Laboratory “Experimental Algology”, Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

 

*Corresponding address:

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Received: August 17, 2017

Accepted: November 27, 2017

 

Abstract

Mycorrhizal fungi, algae and cyanobacteria are some of the most important soil microorganisms and major components of a sustainable soil-plant system. This study presents for the first time evidence of the impact of green alga and cyanobacterium solely and in combination with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on plant-antioxidant capacity. In order to provide a better understanding of the impact of AMF and soil microalgae on Ocimum basilicum L. performance, changes in the pattern and activity of the main antioxidant enzymes (AOEs), esterases and non-enzymatic antioxidants including phenols, flavonoids, ascorbate, and α-tocopherols were evaluated. The targeted inoculation of O. basilicum with AMF or algae (alone and in combination) enhanced the antioxidant capacity of the plants and the degree of stimulation varied depending on the treatment. Plants in symbiosis with AMF exhibited the highest antioxidant potential as was indicated by the enhanced functions of all studied leaf AOEs: 1.5-, 2- and more than 10-fold rises of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and glutathione reductase (GR), respectively. The greatest increase in the total esterase activity and concentration of phenols, flavonoids and ascorbate was marked in the plants with simultaneous inoculation of mycorrhizal fungi and the green algae. 2,2-diphenyl-1-pycril-hydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging method and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay proved the increased plant antioxidant capacity after co-colonization of green algae and mycorrhizae.

 

Key words: antioxidants, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Ocimum basilicum L., soil microalgae

 
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