Characterization of cadmium-tolerant endophytic fungi isolated from soybean (<em>Glycine max</em>) and barley (<em>Hordeum vulgare</em>)
Heliyon. 2021 Oct 22;7(11):e08240. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e08240. eCollection 2021 Nov.
Cadmium stress disrupts plant-microbial interactions and reduces plant growth and development. In plants, the tolerance to stress can be increased by inoculation with endophytic microorganisms. The aim of this study was to investigate the distribution of endophytic fungi in various plant organs of barley and soybean and evaluate their Cd removal ability. Two hundred fifty-three fungal strains were isolated from various organs of barley (Hordeum vulgare cv Arna) and soybean (Glycine max cv Almaty). The colonization rate ranged from 13.6% to 57.3% and was significantly higher in the roots. Ten genera were identified: Fusarium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Metarhizium, Beauveria, Trichoderma, Rhodotorula, Cryptococcus, Aureobasidium and Metschnikowia. Twenty-three fungal strains have a Cd tolerance index from 0.24 to 1.12. Five strains (Beauveria bassiana T7, Beauveria bassiana T15, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa MK1, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa RH2, Metschnikowia pulcherrima MP2) with the highest level of Cd tolerance have minimum inhibitory concentrations from 290 to 2400 μg/ml. These fungi were able to remove Cd up to 59%. The bioaccumulation capacity ranged from 2.3 to 11.9 mg/g. Selected fungal strains could be considered as biological agents for their potential application in the bioremediation of contaminated sites.