Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB

Improvement of nitrogen accumulation and metabolism in rice (Oryza sativa L.) by the endophyte Phomopsis liquidambari.

PMID 24972305


The fungal endophyte Phomopsis liquidambari can enhance nitrogen (N) uptake and metabolism of rice plants under hydroponic conditions. To investigate the effects of P.xa0liquidambari on N accumulation and metabolism in rice (Oryza sativa L.) under field conditions during the entire growing season (S1, the seedling stage; S2, the tillering stage; S3, the heading stage; S4, the ripening stage), we utilized pot experiments to examine metabolic and physiological levels in both shoot and root tissues of rice, with endophyte (E+) and without endophyte (E-), in response to three different N levels. We found that under low-N treatment, P.xa0liquidambari symbiosis increased the rice yield and N use efficiency by 12% and by 11.59%, respectively; that the total N contents in E+ rice plants at the four growth stages were separately increased by 29.05%, 14.65%, 21.06% and 18.38%, respectively; and that the activities of nitrate reductase and glutamine synthetase in E+ rice roots and shoots were significantly increased by fungal infection during the S1 to S3 stages. Moreover, P.xa0liquidambari significantly increased the free NH4(+), NO3(-), amino acid and soluble protein contents in infected rice tissues under low-N treatment during the S1 to S3 stages. The obtained results offer novel data concerning the systemic changes induced by P.xa0liquidambari in rice during the entire growth period and confirm the hypothesis that the rice-P.xa0liquidambari interaction improved the N accumulation and metabolism of rice plants, consequently increasing rice N utilization in nutrient-limited soil.