Biochemical and Vegetative Responses of Swiss Chard (Beta vulgaris Subsp. vulgaris) to Mycorrhiza Symbiosis under Water Deficit Conditions

Document Type : Research Article



One of the most important strategies to reduce the damage caused by environmental stresses, especially in arid and semi-arid regions, is use of beneficial microorganisms including mycorrhiza fungi. Plant-mycorrhiza fungi symbiosis by improving physiological and growth characteristics alleviates the negative effects of drought stress on plants. Symbiosis of mycorrhizal fungi with plants under drought stress improves crop production by increase uptake of more immobilized nutrients such as phosphorus, zinc and copper via increasing the root development. Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris) is used as a fresh vegetable because of its high nutritional value. Since there is no research about the effects of mycorrhiza symbiosis on the growth characteristics of Swiss chard under deficit irrigation conditions, therefore the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of different levels of deficit irrigation and mycorrhiza inoculation on some biochemical and vegetative traits of Swiss chard.
Materials and Methods
A split plot layout based on a randomized complete block design with three replications was conducted at University of Hormozgan in 2017-18. Factors including deficit irrigation as the main factor in three levels including plant irrigation at 50, 75 and 100% of field capacity, equal to severe and moderate deficit irrigation and control respectively, and mycorrhiza fertilizer consisted of three species of Glumos intraradices, G. mosseae and G. fasciculatum at 0, 5, 10 and 20 g.m -2 as sub factor. The studied traits included biochemical characteristics (chlorophyll a, b and total, photosystem II efficiency and catalase activity) and vegetative characteristics (shoot fresh and dry weight, leaf area index and relative leaf water content) of Swiss chard.
Results and Discussion
The results showed that deficit irrigation and mycorrhiza fertilizer significantly affected biochemical and vegetative characteristics of Swiss chard. At each level of mycorrhiza fertilizer with increasing in water deficit level, leaf chlorophyll content, leaf area index, photosystem II efficiency, fresh and dry weight of Swiss chard were decreased, with the most reduction being in severe deficit irrigation, while catalase activity was significantly increased under deficit irrigation conditions. Application of 5 and 10 g.m-2 of mycorrhiza fertilizer under deficit irrigation conditions could improve biochemical and vegetative traits so that application of 10 g of mycorrhiza fertilizer increased total chlorophyll a, b and total, and catalase activity by 12.98, 30.26, 70.70 and 75.01%, respectively. Some studies have shown that mycorrhiza fungi through the development of plant roots increases nutrient uptake and improves vegetative properties under drought stress. The results of this study showed that under deficit irrigation conditions, mycorrhiza fertilizer probably increased vegetative characteristics including leaf area index and consequently fresh and dry weight of Swiss chard by improving biochemical traits including leaf chlorophyll content, photosystem II efficiency and catalase activity. Similar to these results, some researchers have reported that mycorrhiza fertilizers could increase plant tolerance to drought stress, via improving biochemical and vegetative traits such as catalase activity and chlorophyll content and vegetative characteristics including plant relative water content, fresh and dry weight and leaf area index.
In the present study, likely mycorrhiza fertilizer increased photosynthesis capacity by increasing leaf chlorophyll, relative leaf water content, photosystem II efficiency and catalase activity, which resulted in improvement of vegetative characteristics such as leaf area index and, consequently, fresh weight, as an economical product of Swiss chard under deficit irrigation conditions. In the present study, application of mycorrhizal biofertilizer through improving biochemical and vegetative characteristics increased tolerance of sugar beet under deficit irrigation conditions. Therefore, it seems necessary to use mycorrhiza biofertilizer for successful implementation of deficit irrigation methods especially in arid and semi-arid regions.


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Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 22 May 2017
  • Receive Date: 02 August 2019
  • Revise Date: 15 September 2019
  • Accept Date: 21 September 2019
  • First Publish Date: 21 September 2019