Root colonization by Piriformospora indica enhances grain yield in barley under diverse nutrient regimes by accelerating plant development

Beate Achatz, Sibylle von Rüden, Diana Andrade, Elke Neumann, Jörn Pons-Kühnemann, Karl Heinz Kogel, Philipp Franken, Frank Waller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The basidiomycete fungus Piriformospora indica colonizes roots of a broad range of mono- and dicotyledonous plants. It confers enhanced growth, improves resistance against biotic and tolerance to abiotic stress, and enhances grain yield in barley. To analyze mechanisms underlying P. indica-induced improved grain yield in a crop plant, the influence of different soil nutrient levels and enhanced biotic stress were tested under outdoor conditions. Higher grain yield was induced by the fungus independent of different phosphate and nitrogen fertilization levels. In plants challenged with the root rot-causing fungus Fusarium graminearum, P. indica was able to induce a similar magnitude of yield increase as in unchallenged plants. In contrast to the arbuscular mycorrhiza fungus Glomus mosseae, total phosphate contents of host plant roots and shoots were not significantly affected by P. indica. On the other hand, barley plants colonised with the endophyte developed faster, and were characterized by a higher photosynthetic activity at low light intensities. Together with the increased root formation early in development these factors contribute to faster development of ears as well as the production of more tillers per plant. The results indicate that the positive effect of P. indica on grain yield is due to accelerated growth of barley plants early in development, while improved phosphate supply-a central mechanism of host plant fortification by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi-was not observed in the P. indica-barley symbiosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-70
Number of pages12
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume333
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Barley
  • Grain yield
  • Mycorrhiza
  • Phosphate uptake
  • Piriformospora indica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science

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