Plant, cell & environment

Localized and non-localized effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis on accumulation of osmolytes and aquaporins and on antioxidant systems in maize plants subjected to total or partial root drying.

PMID 25630435


The arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis alters host plant physiology under drought stress, but no information is available on whether or not the AM affects respond to drought locally or systemically. A split-root system was used to obtain AM plants with total or only half root system colonized as well as to induce physiological drought affecting the whole plant or non-physiological drought affecting only the half root system. We analysed the local and/or systemic nature of the AM effects on accumulation of osmoregulatory compounds and aquaporins and on antioxidant systems. Maize plants accumulated proline both, locally in roots affected by drought and systemically when the drought affected the whole root system, being the last effect ampler in AM plants. PIPs (plasma membrane intrinsic proteins) aquaporins were also differently regulated by drought in AM and non-AM root compartments. When the drought affected only the AM root compartment, the rise of lipid peroxidation was restricted to such compartment. On the contrary, when the drought affected the non-AM root fraction, the rise of lipid peroxidation was similar in both root compartments. Thus, the benefits of the AM symbiosis not only rely in a lower oxidative stress in the host plant, but it also restricts locally such oxidative stress.