Sugar beet waste and its component ferulic acid inhibits external mycelium of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus

Almudena Medina, Iver Jakobsen, Helge Egsgaard

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    External arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) mycelium plays an important role in soil while interacting with a range of biotic and abiotic factors. One example is the soil organic amendment sugar beet waste. The fermented Aspergillus niger–sugar beet waste (ASB) increases growth and P uptake by the AM mycelium in soil whereas non-fermented waste (SB) had a strong inhibitory effect. The underlying mechanisms are not understood. We used gas chromatography–mass spectrometry to identify differences in composition of water extracts of ASB and SB. The chromatograms showed that ferulic acid was present in SB and absent in ASB. We compared the effects of the water extracts of SB and ASB and ferulic acid upon the growth of Glomus intraradices in in vitro monoxenic cultures. Hyphal growth of the AM fungus G. intraradices was extremely reduced in ferulic acid and SB treatments. Moreover, AM hyphae appeared disorganized, undulated and tangled. In contrast, ASB increased hyphal length and numbers of branched absorbing structures and of spores. We conclude that ferulic acid is one compound in SB which is responsible for its inhibition of AM extraradical growth. The relevance of these findings is discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSoil Biology & Biochemistry
    Issue number7
    Pages (from-to)1456-1463
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Environment and climate

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