Growth and nutrient content of Echinacea purpurea as affected by the combination of phosphorus with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus and Pseudomonas florescent bacterium under different irrigation regimes

J Environ Manage. 2019 Feb 1:231:182-188. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.10.040. Epub 2018 Oct 17.


The excessive use of chemical fertilizers has caused many environmental problems and threatens the health of the human communities at the global level. However, the use of some beneficial soil microorganisms in addition to supplying nutrients to plants helps protect the environment. In order to achieve this goal, the effects of different irrigation regimes and application of phosphorus (P) fertilizer, with mycorrhizal arbuscular fungus (AMF) or Pseudomonas fluorescens bacterium (PFB), were studied on the growth and nutrients of Echinacea purpurea. The main factor included soil irrigation after 25, 50 and 75% of soil moisture depletion and a sub-factor of P supplied in six levels (100% chemical P, 50% P + AMF, AMF, 50% P + PFB, PFB and a control test without P fertilizer). Results showed that an increase in drought intensity reduced the absorption of nutrients and relative water content (RWC), while ion leakage increased in the leaf of E. purpurea. The AMF had a more clear effect on the N, Cu, Mn, and Fe, but PFB was more effective in an increase of Zn. With the use of PFB in the second harvest, the amount of leaf and root Zn was increased by 30.39% and 31.88%, respectively. Although 100% chemical P could increase more P concentration in the root, the combination of P fertilizer with AMF transferred more P from root to leaf. In the first and second harvest, a combination of P with PFB respectively increased the plant biological yield by 10.77% and 17.33% as compared to control. Vegetative traits, Mn, and Zn illustrated a significant increase in the second harvest. Finally, the results showed successful coexistence of bio-fertilizers with E. purpurea in increasing the content of nutrients, improving water absorption, and reducing the adverse effects of drought stress.

Keywords: Drought; Growth-promoting bacteria; Leaf nutrients; Manganese; Medicinal plants; Zinc.

MeSH terms

  • Echinacea*
  • Mycorrhizae*
  • Nutrients
  • Phosphorus
  • Plant Roots
  • Pseudomonas


  • Phosphorus