Effect of soil bacteriomes on mycorrhizal colonization by Rhizophagus irregularis: Interactive effects on maize (Zea mays L.) growth under salt stress

Qian Chen, Xuhui Deng, J. Theo M. Elzenga, Jan Dirk van Elsas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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In this study, we investigated the interactive effects of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF) Rhizophagus irregularis and soil bacteriomes on maize growth under salt stress (100 mM NaCl) and also the effect of salt and bacteriomes on the mycorrhizal infection levels. We found that soil bacteriomes directly promoted the growth of maize and indirectly enhanced maize biomass by increasing mycorrhizal colonization levels, irrespective of salt stress. Although R. irregularis by itself had no maize growth-promoting effect even at a high mycorrhizal colonization level in roots, its benefits to maize were reflected in other aspects, evidenced by the significantly increased rate of arbuscule formation (a proxy for a functional plant-AMF nutritional exchange) under salinity. A negative correlation between arbuscule colonization and root biomass suggested R. irregularis expands the role of maize roots. Besides, the positive correlation between the overall AMF colonization level and shoot biomass supported the tenet of a positive contribution of R. irregularis to maize growth. Our findings suggest that soil bacteriomes interactively work with R. irregularis, modulating the growth of maize by affecting the colonization of AMF in roots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-525
Number of pages11
JournalBiology and Fertility of Soils
Early online date7-Apr-2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2022


  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • Arbuscule
  • Bacteria
  • Interaction
  • Root colonization

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