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Open AccessArticle

Foliar Application of Chitosan Increases Tomato Growth and Influences Mycorrhization and Expression of Endochitinase-Encoding Genes

1
Natural Macromolecules Team, Normal Graduate School, Department of Biology, University Cadi Ayyad, PO Box 575, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
2
Laboratory of Bio-Organic Chemistry and Macromolecular, Faculty of Science and Technology of Marrakech, Department of Chemistry, Cadi Ayyad University, PO Box 549, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
3
Laboratory of Biotechnology and Plant Physiology, Faculty of Science Semlalia Marrakech, Department of Biology, Cadi Ayyad University, PO Box 2390, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
4
Department of Bioorganic Chemistry, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB), Weinberg 3, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany
5
Department of Cell and Metabolic Biology, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB), Weinberg 3, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020535
Received: 19 December 2019 / Revised: 11 January 2020 / Accepted: 11 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Molecular Plant Sciences)
Nowadays, applying bio-organic fertilizer (e.g., chitosan, Ch) or integrating beneficial microorganisms (e.g., arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, AMF) are among the successful strategies to promote plant growth. Here, the effect of two application modes of Ch (foliar spray or root treatment) and Ch-derived nanoparticles (NPs) on tomato plants colonized with the AMF Rhizophagus irregularis were analyzed, thereby focusing on plant biomass, flowering and mycorrhization. An increase of shoot biomass and flower number was observed in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) plants sprayed with Ch. The interaction with AMF, however, was reduced as shown by decreased mycorrhization rates and AM-specific gene expression. To get insights into Ch effect on mycorrhization, levels of sugars, jasmonates, abscisic acid, and the expression of two chitinase-encoding genes were determined in mycorrhizal roots. Ch had no effect on sugar and phytohormone levels, but the reduced mycorrhization was correlated with down- and upregulated expression of Chi3 and Chi9, respectively. In contrast, application of NPs to leaves and Ch applied to the soil did not show any effect, neither on mycorrhization rate nor on growth of mycorrhizal plants. Concluding, Ch application to leaves enhanced plant growth and flowering and reduced interaction with AMF, whereas root treatment did not affect these parameters. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitosan; arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; tomato; chitosan nanoparticles; chitinase; gene expression chitosan; arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; tomato; chitosan nanoparticles; chitinase; gene expression
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El Amerany, F.; Meddich, A.; Wahbi, S.; Porzel, A.; Taourirte, M.; Rhazi, M.; Hause, B. Foliar Application of Chitosan Increases Tomato Growth and Influences Mycorrhization and Expression of Endochitinase-Encoding Genes. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 535.

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