Open Access Research article

Co-synergism of endophyte Penicillium resedanum LK6 with salicylic acid helped Capsicum annuum in biomass recovery and osmotic stress mitigation

Abdul Latif Khan123, Muhammad Waqas2, Muhammad Hamayun4, Ahmed Al-Harrasi1, Ahmed Al-Rawahi1 and In-Jung Lee2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biological Sciences and Chemistry, University of Nizwa, Nizwa, Oman

2 School of Applied Biosciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Republic of Korea

3 Kohat University of Science & Technology, Kohat, Pakistan

4 Department of Botany, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, Pakistan

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BMC Microbiology 2013, 13:51  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-13-51

Published: 1 March 2013



Water-deficiency adversely affects crop growth by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) at cellular level. To mitigate such stressful events, it was aimed to investigate the co-synergism of exogenous salicylic acid (SA) and symbiosis of endophytic fungus with Capsicum annuum L. (pepper).


The findings of the study showed that exogenous SA (10-6 M) application to endophyte (Penicillium resedanum LK6) infected plants not only increased the shoot length and chlorophyll content but also improved the biomass recovery of pepper plants under polyethylene glycol (15%) induced osmotic stress (2, 4 and 8 days). Endophyte-infected plants had low cellular injury and high photosynthesis rate. SA also enhanced the colonization rate of endophyte in the host-plant roots. Endophyte and SA, in combination, reduced the production of ROS by increasing the total polyphenol, reduce glutathione, catalase, peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase as compared to control plants. Osmotic stress pronounced the lipid peroxidation and superoxide anions formation in control plants as compared to endophyte and SA-treated plants. The endogenous SA contents were significantly higher in pepper plants treated with endophyte and SA under osmotic stress as compared to control.


Endophytic fungal symbiosis and exogenous SA application can help the plants to relieve the adverse effects of osmotic stress by decreasing losses in biomass as compared to non-inoculated plants. These findings suggest that SA application positively impact microbial colonization while in combination, it reprograms the plant growth under various intervals of drought stress. Such symbiotic strategy can be useful for expanding agriculture production in drought prone lands.

Penicillium resedanum LK6; Osmotic stress; Salicylic acid; Antioxidants; Biomass recovery; Capsicum annuum L