Elevation of secondary metabolites synthesis in Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis L. via exogenous inoculation of Piriformospora indica with appropriate fertilizer

PLoS One. 2017 May 11;12(5):e0177185. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177185. eCollection 2017.


This work evaluated the impact of exogenous soil inoculation of beneficial fungal strain Piriformospora indica on phytochemical changes and the related genes expression of Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis L.) by greenhouse pot experiments. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) affirmed that among the different combinations of fungal and organic fertilizer treatments, the phenolic acids and flavonoids were considerably enriched in organic fertilizer and fungi (OP) followed by organic fertilizer, biochar, fungi (OBP) treated plants. The antiradical activity was higher in OP (61.29%) followed by P (60%) and organic fertilizer (OF) (53.84%) inoculated plants which positively correlated with chlorophyll, carotenoids and flavonoids level (P<0.05). Furthermore, results showed that the exogenous application of P. indica significantly (P<0.05) enhanced plant growth, as well as stimulating the activation of chlorophyll, carotenoids and other antioxidant related pathways. The RT-qPCR analysis indicated that key FLS gene triggering the synthesis of kaemferol was up-regulated by the inoculation of P. indica. In conclusion, the results revealed that organic fertilizer and P. indica (OP) is the most appropriate combination for improving phytochemical and antiradical properties in Pakchoi.

MeSH terms

  • Basidiomycota / physiology
  • Brassica / genetics
  • Brassica / metabolism*
  • Brassica / microbiology
  • Fertilizers*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Fertilizers

Grant support

This research was supported in part by the National High-tech R&D Program of China (863 Program) (Grant No. 2013AA103000) and Shanghai Agriculture Applied Technology Development Program, China (Grant No. T20140502).