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Environmental Pollution
Volume 298, 2022, 118830

Endophytic fungus Serendipita indica reduces arsenic mobilization from root to fruit in colonized tomato plant?

Jagriti Shuklaa,d, Shayan Mohda

Environmental Toxicology Group, CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR), Vishvigyan Bhawan, 31, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow, 226 001, India.


The accumulation of arsenic in crop plants has become a worldwide concern that affects millions of people. The major source of arsenic in crop plants is irrigation water and soil. In this study, Serendipita indica, an endophytic fungus, was used to investigate the protection against arsenic and its accumulation in the tomato plant. We found that inoculation of S. indica recovers seed germination, plant growth and improves overall plant health under arsenic stress. A hyper-colonization of fungus in the plant root was observed under arsenic stress, which results in reduced oxidative stress via modulation of antioxidative enzymes, glutathione, and proline levels. Furthermore, fungal colonization restricts arsenic mobilization from root to shoot and fruit by accumulating it exclusively in the root. We observed that fungal colonization enhances the arsenic bioaccumulation factor 1.48 times in root and reduces the arsenic translocation factor by 2.96 times from root to shoot and 13.6 times from root to fruit compared to non colonized plants. Further, investigation suggests that S. indica can tolerate arsenic by immobilizing it on the cell wall and accumulating it in the vacuole. This study shows that S. indica may be helpful for the reduction of arsenic accumulation in crops grown in arsenic-contaminated agriculture fields.

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