Document Type : Research Paper
Assistant Professor, Department of Ornamental Plants, Research Center for Plant Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran
Increasing the salinity in the water and soil can negatively affect plant growth and development. Mycorrhizal fungi application is one of the ways to reduce the undesirable effect of salt stress on plants. An experiment was conducted in 2017 to assess the effect of salt stress on Nitraria schuberi, as a native Iranian plant in arid regions, inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi. Seedlings of this plant were treated under three different levels of NaCl in three stages. The stages including low salt concentrations (0, 20, 60, and 100 mM NaCl), medium salt concentrations (0, 40, 120, and 200 mM NaCl) and high salt concentrations (0, 80, 240, and 400 mM NaCl). Mycorrhizal treatment including two levels: non-inoculated (control) and mycorrhizal inoculated. Experimental designs were factorials (4×2 treatments) based on the completely randomized design with four replications. In this study, the content of chlorophyll, carotenoid, sugar, proline and Na, Mg, K, Fe and Ca were measured. The results indicated that with increasing salinity levels from the first (low) to third (high) stage, chlorophyll content was decreased while carotenoid, proline, and sugar were increased. The application of NaCl salinity led to a reduction in Fe and enhancement in Na. In the mycorrhizal plants, sugar content decreased but magnesium, calcium and potassium levels increased. Based on these findings it seems that Nitraria schuberi is a salt tolerant plant and mycorrhizal fungi can mitigate salinity stress in this plant. Therefore this plant could be applied in the urban landscape of arid and semi-arid regions.