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    Salt stress negatively affects plant growth, and the fungal endophyte Epichloëgansuensis increases the tolerance of its host grass species, Achnatherum inebrians, to abiotic stresses. In this work, we first evaluated the effects of E. gansuensis on glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) and plasma membrane (PM) H+-ATPase activity of Achnatherum inebrians plants under varying NaCl concentrations. Our results showed that the presence of E. gansuensis increased G6PDH, PM H+-ATPase, superoxide dismutase and catalase activity to decrease O2•-, H2O2 and Na+ contents in A. inebrians under NaCl stress, resulting in enhanced salt tolerance. In addition, the PM NADPH oxidase activity and NADPH/NADP+ ratios were all lower in A. inebrians with E. ganusensis plants than A. inebrians plants without this endophyte under NaCl stress. In conclusion, E. gansuensis has a positive role in improving host grass yield under NaCl stress by enhancing the activity of G6PDH and PM H+-ATPase to decrease ROS content. This provides a new way for the selection of stress-resistant and high-quality forage varieties by the use of systemic fungal endophytes.


    Jianfeng Wang, Wenpeng Hou, Michael J Christensen, Chao Xia, Tao Chen, Zhixin Zhang, Zhibiao Nan. The fungal endophyte Epichloë gansuensis increases NaCl-tolerance in Achnatherum inebrians through enhancing the activity of plasma membrane H+-ATPase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. Science China. Life sciences. 2021 Mar;64(3):452-465

    PMID: 32430851

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