Piriformospora indica alter root-associated microbiome structure to enhance Artemisia annua L. tolerance to arsenic

J Hazard Mater. 2023 Sep 5:457:131752. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2023.131752. Epub 2023 May 31.


Microorganisms in the rhizosphere are crucial allies for plant stress tolerance. Recent research suggests that by interacting with the rhizosphere microbiome, microorganisms can aid in the revegetation of soils contaminated with heavy metal(loid)s (HMs). However, it is unknown that how Piriformospora indica influences the rhizosphere microbiome to mitigate arsenic-toxicity in arsenic-enriched environments. Artemisia annua plants were grown in the presence or absence of P. indica and spiked with low (50) and high (150 µmol/L) concentrations of arsenic (As). After inoculation with P. indica, fresh weight increased by 37.7% and 10% in control and high concentration treated plants, respectively. Transmission electron microscopy showed that cellular organelles were severely damaged by As and even disappeared under high concentration. Furthermore, As was mostly accumulated by 5.9 and 18.1 mg/kg dry weight in the roots of inoculated plants treated with low and high concentrations of As, respectively. Additionally, 16 S and ITS rRNA gene sequencing were applied to analyze the rhizosphere microbial community structure of A. annua under different treatments. A significant difference was observed in microbial community structure under different treatments as revealed by non-metric multidimensional scaling ordination. The bacterial and fungal richness and diversity in the rhizosphere of inoculated plants were actively balanced and regulated by P. indica co-cultivation. Lysobacter and Steroidobacter were found to be the As-resistant bacterial genera. We conclude that P. indica inoculation could alter rhizosphere microecology, thereby mitigating As-toxicity without harming the environment.

Keywords: Arsenic contamination; Artemisia; Piriformospora indica; Rhizosphere microbiome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic* / toxicity
  • Artemisia annua* / genetics
  • Artemisia annua* / microbiology
  • Bacteria
  • Microbiota*
  • Plant Roots / microbiology
  • Rhizosphere
  • Soil Microbiology


  • Arsenic

Supplementary concepts

  • Serendipita indica