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Trichoderma-Induced Improvement in Growth, Photosynthetic Pigments, Proline, and Glutathione Levels in Cucurbita pepo Seedlings under Salt Stress

Mona H. Soliman1, Taghreed S. Alnusaire2, Nessreen F. Abdelbaky3,4, Aisha A. M. Alayafi5, Mirza Hasanuzzaman6,*, Mohamed M. Rowezak2, Mohamed El-Esawi7, Amr Elkelish8

1 Department of Botany and Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Giza, 12613, Egypt
2 Biology Department, College of Science, Jouf University, Sakaka, 2014, Saudi Arabia
3 Biology Department, Faculty of Science, Taibah University, Yanbu El-Bahr, 46429, Saudi Arabia
4 Desert Research Center, Cairo, 11753, Egypt
5 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Jeddah, Jeddah, 23218, Saudi Arabia
6 Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka, 1207, Bangladesh
7 Botany Department, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Tanta, 31527, Egypt
8 Botany Department, Faculty of Science, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, 41522, Egypt

* Corresponding Author: Mirza Hasanuzzaman. Email:

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Crop Production under Abiotic Stress: Physiological and Molecular Interventions)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2020, 89(3), 473-486.


Salt stress is one of the major abiotic stress in plants. However, traditional approaches are not always efficient in conferring salt tolerance. Experiments were conducted to understand the role of Trichoderma spp. (T. harzianum and T. viride) in growth, chlorophyll (Chl) synthesis, and proline accumulation of C. pepo exposed to salinity stress. There were three salt stress (50, 100, and 150 mM NaCl) lavels and three different Trichoderma inoculation viz. T. harzianum, T. viride, and T. harzianum + T. viride. Salt stress significantly declined the growth in terms of the shoot and root lengths; however, it was improved by the inoculation of Trichoderma spp. C. pepo inoculated with Trichoderma exhibited increased synthesis of pigments like chl a, chl b, carotenoids, and anthocyanins under normal conditions. It was interesting to observe that such positive effects were maintained under salt-stressed conditions, as reflected by the amelioration of the salinity-mediated decline in growth, physiology and antioxidant defense. The inoculation of Trichoderma spp. enhanced the synthesis of proline, glutathione, proteins and increased the relative water content. In addition, Trichoderma inoculation increased membrane stability and reduced the generation of hydrogen peroxide. Therefore, Trichoderma spp. can be exploited either individually or in combination to enhance the growth and physiology of C. pepo under saline conditions.


Cite This Article

Soliman, M. H., Alnusaire, T. S., Abdelbaky, N. F., A., A., Hasanuzzaman, M. et al. (2020). Trichoderma-Induced Improvement in Growth, Photosynthetic Pigments, Proline, and Glutathione Levels in Cucurbita pepo Seedlings under Salt Stress. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 89(3), 473–486.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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