Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi promote silicon accumulation in plant roots, reducing the impacts of root herbivory

Frew, Adam and Powell, Jeff R. and Allsopp, Peter G. and Sallam, Nader and Johnson, Scott N. (2017) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi promote silicon accumulation in plant roots, reducing the impacts of root herbivory. Plant and Soil, 419 (1-2). pp. 423-433. ISSN 0032-079X


Studies have shown that arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi can reduce the performance of typically detrimental root feeding insects, yet the mechanisms remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the effects of different sources of AM inocula on plant resistance to a root feeding insect in two different soils with different silicon (Si) concentrations.

Sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrid) was grown in high or low Si soil; plants were treated with either an inoculum comprising the native AM fungi, a commercial AM fungal inoculum or with no AM fungi. Root herbivore (Dermolepida albohirtum) performance was measured in a feeding assay.

In the low Si soil AM fungi increased root Si concentrations and reduced root herbivore performance. Both commercial and native AM treatments increased root Si and also reduced root herbivore growth rates by 107% and 81%, respectively. AM colonisation positively correlated with root Si concentrations. Distinct from this, in the high Si soil AM fungi had no impact on root Si or root herbivore growth. However, root consumption was reduced; a response independent of Si concentrations.

Our study suggests AM fungi can enhance Si based plant defences against root herbivores, but also highlights that interactions between AM fungi and root herbivores involves multiple mechanisms requiring further research.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2019 05:31
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2019 04:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; insect herbivory; root defences; silicon; sugarcane
Fields of Research (2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050303 Soil Biology
06 Biological Sciences > 0607 Plant Biology > 060799 Plant Biology not elsewhere classified
06 Biological Sciences > 0605 Microbiology > 060504 Microbial Ecology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960499 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species not elsewhere classified
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