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Ecological Engineering
Vol. 81, 2015, Pages: 439–443

The response of Betula pubescens to inoculation with an ectomycorrhizal fungus and a plant growth promoting bacterium is substrate-dependent

Nadine R. Sousa, Albina R. Franco, Miguel A. Ramos, Rui S. Oliveira, Paula M.L. Castro

CBQF – Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina – Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Portuguesa/Porto, Rua Arquiteto Lobão Vital, Apartado 2511, 4202-401 Porto, Portugal.


The combination of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi and plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) has considerable potential in forestry. Here we report on the combined effects of PGPB Mesorhizobium sp. and the ECM fungus Paxillus involutus on the growth of Betula pubescens in two different substrates, a forest soil and an alkaline anthropogenic sediment. Growth, nutrient concentration and mycorrhizal formation of B. pubescens were determined at the end of the experiment and the fungal and bacterial communities were assessed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. The combined effects of ECM and PGPB enhanced root and shoot growth most in the forest soil with Mesorhizobium appearing to stimulate mycorrhizal formation. However, in the alkaline sediment, an antagonistic interaction was detected between P. involutus and Mesorhizobium sp., with Mesorhizobium sp. alone stimulating growth. The significant interaction between the ECM and the PGBP across the two substrates is discussed.

Keywords: Industrial sediment; Phytorestoration; Betula pubescens; Dual inoculation; Ectomycorrhizal fungi; Plant growth promoting bacteria.

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