Individual and interactive role of Trichoderma viride and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on growth and pigment content of onion plants

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2020 Feb;70(2):79-86. doi: 10.1111/lam.13246. Epub 2019 Nov 28.


The study of interactions between beneficial micro-organisms associated with plant roots is important, because such interactions might either enhance or inhibit the beneficial effects of individual species. The effect of the combined inoculation of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and a biocontrol fungus (Trichoderma viride) on different growth parameters and chlorophyll a,b, carotenoids, total chlorophyll and total pigments of onion (Allium cepa) plants was studied under glasshouse conditions. The results proved that AM fungi and T. viride are compatible with each other and their combined use was effective not only in improving onion growth parameters such as fresh and dry weights, root and shoot lengths and leaf area but also increasing total chlorophyll, carotenoids and total pigments content in onion leaves. Where, inoculation of onion plants by AM fungi and T. viride alone or in combination significantly increased bulb diameters of onion plants 20, 12·5 and 17·5% increase; respectively, when compared with control ones. Also percentage of AM fungal colonization increased greatly with T. viride inoculation. Therefore, AM fungi and T. viride could be a good alternate of chemical fertilizer for improving the growth of onion. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Significance and Impact of the Study: The need for increasing agricultural productivity and quality has led to an excessive use of chemical fertilizers; creating serious threats to human health and the environment. The use of biofertilizers is an alternative for sustaining high production with low ecological impact. Thus the goal of this study was to propose a biological technique using arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis and Trichoderma viride (plant-microbe interaction) for increasing plant growth that represent a great opportunities for recent agricultural practices. This may be an indication displaying the AM and Trichoderma significance for plant progress and growth.

Keywords: Trichoderma viride; arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; mycorrhizal colonization; onion; plant growth.

MeSH terms

  • Chlorophyll A / analysis
  • Fertilizers
  • Host Microbial Interactions / physiology*
  • Mycorrhizae / physiology*
  • Onions / growth & development*
  • Onions / microbiology
  • Onions / physiology*
  • Pigmentation / physiology
  • Pigments, Biological / analysis
  • Plant Development / physiology
  • Plant Leaves / physiology
  • Plant Roots / microbiology
  • Symbiosis
  • Trichoderma / physiology*


  • Fertilizers
  • Pigments, Biological
  • Chlorophyll A