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A simple and rapid in vitro test for large-scale screening of fungal endophytes from drought-adapted Australian wild plants for conferring water deprivation tolerance and growth promotion in Nicotiana benthamiana seedlings

Dastogeer, K.M.G., Li, H., Sivasithamparam, K., Jones, M.G.K. and Wylie, S.J. (2017) A simple and rapid in vitro test for large-scale screening of fungal endophytes from drought-adapted Australian wild plants for conferring water deprivation tolerance and growth promotion in Nicotiana benthamiana seedlings. Archives of Microbiology, 199 (10). pp. 1357-1370.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00203-017-1411-0
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Abstract

Some fungal endophytes confer novel phenotypes and enhance existing ones in plants, including tolerance to water deprivation stress. A range of fungal endophytes was isolated from wild Nicotiana plants growing in arid parts of northern Australia. These were screened for ability to enhance water deprivation stress tolerance by inoculating seedlings of the model plant N. benthamiana in two in vitro tests. Sixty-eight endophyte isolates were co-cultivated with N. benthamiana seedlings on either damp filter paper or on agar medium before being subjected to water deprivation. Seventeen isolates were selected for further testing under water deprivation conditions in a sand-based test in a glasshouse. Only two fungal isolates, Cladosporium cladosporioides (E-162) and an unknown fungus (E-284), significantly enhanced seedling tolerance to moisture deprivation consistently in both in vitro and sand-based tests. Although a strongly significant correlation was observed between any two screening methods, the result of filter paper test was more strongly reflected (r = 0.757, p < 0.001) in results of the glasshouse test, indicating its relative suitability over the agar-based test. In another experiment, the same 17 isolates carried forward to the sand-based test used in the glasshouse screening test were inoculated to N. benthamiana plants in pots in a nutrient-limiting environment to test their influence on growth promotion. Isolates related to C. cladosporioides, Fusarium equiseti, and Thozetella sp. promoted seedling growth by increasing shoot length and biomass. The fungal isolate E-162 (C. cladosporioides) significantly enhanced moisture deprivation tolerance as well as promoted seedling growth.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Western Australian Biotechnology Centre
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Copyright: © 2017 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/38084
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