Authors:Kelemen Bettina, Füzy Anna, Cseresnyés Imre, Parádi István, Kovács Ramóna, Rajkai Kálmán, and Takács Tünde
The effects of cadmium (Cd) stress and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF) inoculation were investigated in wheat [Triticum aestivum L. cv. TC-33] under controlled conditions. The experiments aimed to reveal what stress responses belong to the different levels of Cd load in the growth medium (0; 1; 2,5 and 5 mg Cd kg-1 substrate). To detect the effect of Cd stress, we compared plant physiological and growth indicators measured with both in situ and destructive methods. Electrical capacitance (CR) was evaluated during the experiments as a method to indicate stress responses through of Cd-induced root system changes.
During the growth period, the photosynthetic activity (Fv/Fm), the chlorophyll content index (CCI) of the leaves, and the CR of the root-soil system were monitored in situ. After harvest, the membrane stability index (MSI), the cadmium and phosphorus concentrations of the plants, the root dry mass (RDM), the shoot dry mass (SDM) and the leaf area (LA) were measured. The root colonization of AM fungi was estimated by microscopic examination. Data matrices were evaluated with principal component analysis (PCA) which had been proved to be a good statistical method to the sensitivity between measurement methods.
Taking all parameters into account in the PCA, a complete separation was found between the contaminated and non-contaminated variants along the main component PC1. The measured values of the Cd1 treatment sometimes overlapped with that of control plants, but differed from that of the Cd2 and Cd3 doses. The parameters well reflected that AMF inoculation alleviated the stress caused by Cd. PCA shows a visible effect of AM, but the separation between mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants is weaker than that between Cd contaminated and non-treated ones. The Cd stress significantly decreased the Fv/Fm, CCI, CR, SDM, RDM and LA. The CR and growth parameters proved to be the best indicators to characterize the Cd phytotoxicity in the TC-33 wheat cultivar.