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Abstract

Arbuscular mycorrizal (AM) fungi may enhance plant growth and polyphenol production, however, there have been limited studies on the relationships between root colonization of different fungal species and polyphenol production on cultivated Allium porrum (garden leek). The effects of inoculation of AM fungi spores from Rhizophagus intraradices, Giga -spora margarita, Glomus geosporum, Paraglomus occultum, Claroideoglomus claroideum, and Glomus species on colonization of garden leek roots and symbiotic changes in polyphenol production and plant growth were evaluated in greenhouse experiments. There were significant differences (p < 0.05) in colonization of leek roots by AM fungi species. The greatest level of root colonization was recorded on plants inoculated with R. intraradices (73%) and the lowest level on C. claroideum (3.2%). Significant differences (p < 0.05) in plant height were recorded between AM inoculated plants and the controls. Polyphenol levels differed significantly (p < 0.05) between garden leek plants inoculated with AM fungi and the non-inoculated controls. The percentage increases in polyphenol (a derivative of kaempferol) on garden leeks inoculated with G. geosporum relative to the untreated controls ranged from 28 to 1123%. Due to symbiosis with different AM species, other polyphenols decreased in some instances (negative values) and increased in others for values of up to 590%. Results showed that AM fungi species exhibited remarkable differences in polyphenol levels in garden leeks. The high polyphenol production by garden leek plants inoculated with G. geosporum, and Glomus species could be exploited for enhanced resistance of garden leeks to insects and diseases. This research highlights an understudied area, notably the relationships between AM fungal inoculations, root colonizations and polyphenol production in garden leeks. The findings can be utilized to improve pest resistance and the quality of garden leek plants.
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