Interaction between Arbuscular Mycorrhiza and Heavy Metals in the Rhizosphere and Roots of Juniperus procera

Al-Ghamdi, Amal A. M.; Jais, Hasnah M.
February 2012
International Journal of Agriculture & Biology;Feb2012, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p69
Academic Journal
The decline in the population of Juniperus procera Hochast. ex Enal. in the woodlands of Saudi Arabia appears to be associated to their poor regeneration in the natural habitat. This study was conducted to investigate the presence and interaction of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) in the roots and heavy metals; cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), plumbum (Pb), uranium (U) and zinc (Zn) in the soil and roots of J. procera. Sampling was conducted in linear transaction, where a total of 120 individual trees were randomly selected. High values (59-79%) were recorded for root colonization with AMF in plant samples. Higher concentrations of Cd, Co, Cu, Pb, U and Zn in the soil and roots were found to be related to lower mycorrhiza infection, while Cr and Ni showed otherwise. In general, the concentration of heavy metal elements in the soil was significantly higher than that recorded in the roots of plant samples. AMF symbiosis probably affected heavy metal translocation from the soil into the roots. The presence of AMF and its relationship with heavy metals may give an insight into the dynamics of AMF infection in the plant. In addition, the roles played by AMF in the absorption of heavy metals in mycorrhizal plants are further discussed.


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