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Forests 2015, 6(10), 3582-3593; doi:10.3390/f6103582

Increased Biomass of Nursery-Grown Douglas-Fir Seedlings upon Inoculation with Diazotrophic Endophytic Consortia

School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, College of the Environment, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
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Academic Editor: Heinz Rennenberg
Received: 8 July 2015 / Revised: 28 September 2015 / Accepted: 6 October 2015 / Published: 12 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen and Phosphorus Nutrition of Trees and Forests)
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Abstract

Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) seedlings are periodically challenged by biotic and abiotic stresses. The ability of endophytes to colonize the interior of plants could confer benefits to host plants that may play an important role in plant adaptation to environmental changes. In this greenhouse study, nursery-grown Douglas-fir seedlings were inoculated with diazotrophic endophytes previously isolated from poplar and willow trees and grown for fifteen months in nutrient-poor conditions. Inoculated seedlings had significant increases in biomass (48%), root length (13%) and shoot height (16%) compared to the control seedlings. Characterization of these endophytes for symbiotic traits in addition to nitrogen fixation revealed that they can also solubilize phosphate and produce siderophores. Colonization was observed through fluorescent microscopy in seedlings inoculated with gfp- and mkate-tagged strains. Inoculation with beneficial endophytes could prove to be valuable for increasing the production of planting stocks in forest nurseries. View Full-Text
Keywords: Douglas-fir; conifers; nurseries; endophytes; diazotrophic; phosphate solubilization; siderophore; biomass; sustainable forestry Douglas-fir; conifers; nurseries; endophytes; diazotrophic; phosphate solubilization; siderophore; biomass; sustainable forestry
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Khan, Z.; Kandel, S.L.; Ramos, D.N.; Ettl, G.J.; Kim, S.-H.; Doty, S.L. Increased Biomass of Nursery-Grown Douglas-Fir Seedlings upon Inoculation with Diazotrophic Endophytic Consortia. Forests 2015, 6, 3582-3593.

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