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Type: Journal article
Title: The mycorrhizal pathway of zinc uptake contributes to zinc accumulation in barley and wheat grain
Author: Coccina, A.
Cavagnaro, T.R.
Pellegrino, E.
Ercoli, L.
McLaughlin, M.J.
Watts-Williams, S.J.
Citation: BMC Plant Biology, 2019; 19(1):133-1-133-14
Publisher: BMC
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 1471-2229
Statement of
Antonio Coccina, Timothy R. Cavagnaro, Elisa Pellegrino, Laura Ercoli, Michael J. McLaughlin and Stephanie J. Watts-Williams
Abstract: BACKGROUND:Increasing zinc (Zn) concentrations in crops is important for alleviation of human Zn deficiency. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) contribute to plant Zn uptake, but their contribution to Zn in the edible portion of crops has not yet been investigated. This study aimed to quantify the mycorrhizal pathway of Zn uptake into grain of wheat and barley under varying soil Zn availabilities. Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare) were grown in pots with a hyphal compartment containing 65Zn. Plants were inoculated with Rhizophagus irregularis and grown at three soil Zn concentrations. Radioactive Zn in grain and straw was measured and the contribution of AMF to Zn uptake was calculated. RESULTS:The mycorrhizal pathway of Zn uptake contributed up to 24.3% of total above-ground Zn in wheat, and up to 12.7% of that Zn in barley. The greatest contribution by the mycorrhizal pathway was observed in barley at the lowest Zn addition, and in wheat at the highest one. In addition, grain yield of bread wheat was increased by AMF. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that AMF have a substantial role in uptake of Zn into cereals, and the proportional contribution by the MPU is dependent on plant species, as well as available soil Zn.
Keywords: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; barley (Hordeum vulgare); radioisotope tracing; wheat (Triticum aestivum); yield; zinc nutrition
Rights: © The Author(s). 2019 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
DOI: 10.1186/s12870-019-1741-y
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Microbiology and Immunology publications

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