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Arbuscular mycorrhizae under CuSO4 stress community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizae under CuSO4 stress in Capsicum annuum L. and Zea mays L.

Amber Raza and Muhammad Shafiq Chaudhry

Community structure and ecology of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi was studied in the present study using two host plant species i.e. Capsicum annuum L. and Zea mays L. under CuSO4 stress. Five levels of copper sulfate (CuSO4)  i.e. 0 ppm (control), 25 ppm, 50 ppm, 75 ppm, and 100 ppm were used to elucidate their influence on mycorrhizal community. Results showed that some spores disappeared with increased metal content while other spores were abundant even at a high level of stress. Present studies supported the stress tolerance mechanism conferred by AMF spore density and diversity. Value of Simpson index was shown to decrease from 3.58 to 2.42. Shannon index value was changed from 0.27 to 0.51. Similar rise in the values was observed for spore diversity i.e. 20.94 to 79.13. However, it may be concluded that spore ecotypes might vary in their abundance depending upon the host plant and soil physical-chemical characters that control the metal availability to plants. Among all the four plant varieties, ghotki chilli seemed to have less species associated with it. It can be concluded that when compared to the control, more mycorrhizal types were found to be associated with plants under stress which could prove the tolerance of mycorrhizae against the heavy metals and their positive role in protecting plant from the toxicity of heavy metals

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