Inoculation with Aspergillus aculeatus Alters the Performance of Perennial Ryegrass under Phosphorus Deficiency

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient element that is necessary for plant growth and development. However, most of the P exists in insoluble form. Aspergillus aculeatus has been reported to be able to solubilize insoluble forms of P. Here, to investigate the P-solubilizing effect of A. aculeatus on the performance of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) under P-deficiency stress, we created four treatment groups: control [i.e., no Ca3(PO4)2 or A. aculeatus], A. aculeatus only (F), Ca3(PO4)2 and Ca3(PO4)2 + A. aculeatus [Ca3(PO4)2 + F] treatment, and Ca3(PO4)2 at concentrations of 0 and 3 g per pot (0.5 kg substrate per pot). In our results, the liquid medium inoculated with A. aculeatus exhibited enhanced soluble P and organic acid content (tartaric acid, citric acid, and aminoacetic acid) accompanied with lower pH, compared with the noninoculated regimen. Furthermore, A. aculeatus also played a primary role in increasing the soluble P content of substrate (1 sawdust: 3 sand), the growth rate, turf quality, and photosynthetic capacity of the plant exposed to Ca3(PO4)2 + F treatment, compared with other groups. Finally, in perennial ryegrass leaves, there was a dramatic increase in the valine, serine, tyrosine, and proline contents, and a remarkable decline in the glutamic acid, succinic acid, citric acid, and fumaric acid contents in the Ca3(PO4)2 + F regimen, compared with other groups. Overall, our results suggested that A. aculeatus may play a crucial role in the process of solubilizing Ca3(PO4)2 and modulating perennial ryegrass growth under P-deficiency stress.

Contributor Notes

We thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 31772662 and 31772349), Innovation Project of Shandong Forestry Science and Technology (no. LYCX03-2018-13), and the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFC0505902; 2016YFC050040501).

Corresponding authors. E-mail: turfcn@qq.com or xieyan@wbgcas.cn.

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Article Figures

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    Bar plots showing the influences of the Aspergillus aculeatus (F) on soluble phosphorus content (AC) in a liquid medium. Columns marked with same small letter indicate insignificant differences under only Ca3(PO4)2 treatment or Ca3(PO4)2 + F treatment with the different Ca3(PO4)2 concentrations (P < 0.05). Columns marked with an asterisk indicate significant differences under Ca3(PO4)2 treatment or Ca3(PO4)2 + F treatment with the same Ca3(PO4)2 concentrations (P < 0.05).

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    Bar plots showing the influences of the Aspergillus aculeatus (F) on pH (AC) in a liquid medium. Columns marked with same small letter indicate insignificant differences under only Ca3(PO4)2 treatment or Ca3(PO4)2 + F treatment with the different Ca3(PO4)2 concentrations (P < 0.05). Columns marked with an asterisk indicate significant differences under Ca3(PO4)2 treatment or Ca3(PO4)2 + F treatment with the same Ca3(PO4)2 concentrations (P < 0.05).

  • View in gallery

    Bar plots showing the influences of the Aspergillus aculeatus (F) on turf quality (A) and relative growth rate (B) of perennial ryegrass. CK represents control [i.e., no Ca3(PO4)2 and F in medium]. Ca3(PO4)2 concentration was 0 and 3 g per pot (0.5 kg growth substrate). Turf quality was evaluated visually based on a score of 0 to 9, where 0 = yellow, withered, thin, and dead; 6 = minimum acceptable level based on density, turf color, and uniformity; and 9 = green, dense, and uniform. The numbers marked with the same small letter indicate insignificant differences under four different treatments (P < 0.05).

  • View in gallery

    Bar plots showing the influences of the Aspergillus aculeatus (F) on soluble phosphorus content (A) and pH (B) in medium. CK represents control [i.e., no Ca3(PO4)2 and A. aculeatus in medium]. Ca3(PO4)2 concentration was 0 and 3 g per pot (0.5 kg growth substrate). The numbers marked with the same small letter indicate insignificant differences under four different treatments (P < 0.05).

  • View in gallery

    Line plot showing the alterations of chlorophyll fluorescence transients (OJIP curve) in leaves of perennial ryegrass grown with or without Aspergillus aculeatus (F) when Ca3(PO4)2 concentration is 0 and 3 g per pot (0.5 kg growth substrate). CK represents control [i.e., no Ca3(PO4)2 and F in medium].

  • View in gallery

    Bar plots showing the influences of the Aspergillus aculeatus (F) on specific amino acids [valine (A), serine (B), and glutamic (C) acid] and organic acids [citric (D), fumaric (E), and succinic (F) acid] of perennial ryegrass leaves. CK represents control [i.e., no Ca3(PO4)2 and F in medium]. Ca3(PO4)2 concentration is 0 and 3 g per pot (0.5 kg growth substrate). The numbers marked with the same small letter indicate insignificant differences under four different treatments (P < 0.05).

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