Positive effects of co-inoculation with Rhizophagus irregularis and Serendipita indica on tomato growth under saline conditions, and their individual colonization estimated by signature lipids

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Tomato roots can be colonized by both mycorrhizal fungi and the endophytic fungus Serendipita indica. This study was aimed at assessment of the impact of single or dual inoculation with R. irregularis and S. indica on tomato growth under saline conditions. We used signature compounds to estimate the abundance of each of these two fungi (fatty acid 16:1ω5 for R. irregularis and ergosterol for S. indica) in roots. A randomized block design was applied with four types of inoculation (no fungus, R. irregularis, S. indica or S. indica + R. irregularis) at different levels of salinity (1.2, 5, and 10 dS/m) with four replications per treatment. The plant dry weight was slightly higher in R. irregularis– than S. indica–inoculated plants, and the highest plant biomass was achieved with dual inoculation. R. irregularis increased the content of the neutral lipid fatty acid 16:1ω5 from 97 to 5300 nmol/g and phospholipid fatty acid 16:1ω5 from 8 to 141 nmol/g in roots (at a salinity level of 1.2 dS m−1), but the increases were lower at higher levels of salinity. Moreover, both these arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal markers were slightly decreased in the presence of S. indica. Root ergosterol increased from 7 to 114 μg g−1 with S. indica inoculation. With increasing salinity, the concentration of ergosterol in roots decreased. Inoculation with R. irregularis caused a decrease in root ergosterol. Increasing salinity resulted in an increase of Cl and Na in tomato shoots, but the increase was significantly lower in single- or dual-inoculated plants in contrast to the control plants.


External organisations
  • University of Tabriz
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
  • Agricultural Science


  • Arbuscular mycorrhiza, Dual inoculation, Lipid signatures, Salinity stress, Serendipita indica, Tomato
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-466
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch