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Effect of Endophytic Fungi on Cadmium Tolerance and Bioaccumulation by Festuca Arundinacea and Festuca Pratensis

Abstract

Endophytic fungi are a group of fungi that live asymptomatically inside plant tissue. These
fungi may increase host plant tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. The effect of Neotyphodium
endophytes in two grass species (Festuca arundinacea and Festuca pratensis) on
cadmium (Cd) tolerance, accumulation and translocation has been our main objective. The
plants were grown in a hydroponic system under different Cd concentrations (0, 5, 10, and 20
mg L−1) for 6 weeks. They were also grown in soil spiked with different concentrations of Cd
(0, 10, 20, and 40 mg kg−1) for 2 months. The results from all Cd treatments showed higher
biomass production (12–24%) and higher potential to accumulate Cd in roots (6–16%) and
shoots (6–20%) of endophyte-infected plants than endophyte-free plants. Cadmium accumulation
by plants indicated that the grasses were capable of Cd hyperaccumulation, a property
that was augmented after endophyte infection. Maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem
II (Fv/Fm) revealed that Cd stress was significantly reduced in endophyte-infected
plants compared to non-infected ones.

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