Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis and achene mucilage have independent functions in seedling growth of a desert shrub

Dandan Hu, Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin, Zhaoren Wang, Shudong Zhang, Xuejun Yang, Zhenying Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis can play a role in improving seedling establishment in deserts, and it has been suggested that achene mucilage facilitates seedling establishment in sandy deserts and that mucilage biodegradation products may improve seedling growth. We aimed to determine if AM symbiosis interacts with achene mucilage in regulating seedling growth in sand dunes. Up to 20 A M fungal taxa colonized Artemisia sphaerocephala roots in the field, and mycorrhizal frequency and colonization intensity exhibited seasonal dynamics. In the greenhouse, total biomass of AM fungal-colonized plants decreased, whereas the root/shoot ratio increased. AM symbiosis resulted in increased concentrations of nutrients and chlorophyll and decreased concentrations of salicylic acid (SA) and abscisic acid (ABA). Achene mucilage had a weaker effect on biomass and on nutrient, chlorophyll, and phytohormone concentration than did AM symbiosis. We suggest that AM symbiosis and achene mucilage act independently in enhancing seedling establishment in sandy deserts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant numbers 31470476 and 31570416 ] and the Strategy of CAS Biological Resources Service Network Planning Project [grant number ZSSD-014 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier GmbH


  • Artemisia sphaerocephala
  • Biomass
  • Chlorophyll
  • Nutrients
  • Phytohormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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