The interactive effect of sugar beet (SB) agrowaste and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi inoculation in response to increasing Cu levels was evaluated in the metallophyte Oenothera picensis . Plants were grown in a Cu-added soil (0, 100, or 500 mg Cu kg −1 ), in presence or absence of SB, and inoculated with: (1) indigenous Cu adapted mycorrhiza (IM) isolated from Cu-polluted soils; (2) Claroideoglomus claroideum (CC); or (3) maintained uninoculated (control). Sugar beet application produced an increase in shoot biomass of 2 to 7 times, improving plant nutritional status and allowing their survival at the highest Cu concentrations. Moreover, AM fungi utilization had a positive effect promoting the plant establishment; nevertheless, Cu plant concentration as well as the mycorrhizal development in terms of AM colonization, AM spore density, and glomalin production were strictly dependent of the AM fungi strains used. Remarkable differences between AM fungi strains were observed at the highest soil Cu level where only plants colonized by IM were able to survive and grow when no SB residue was added. An interactive effect between AM fungi and SB produced a higher plant growth than plants without the amendment application, improving the plant establishment and allowing their survival at highest copper concentrations, suggesting that this combination could be used as a biotechnological tool for the phytoremediation of Cu-polluted soils.
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition