Hamzeh Pooryousef, Jafar Hemmat , Mohsen Vaez
Biological Journal of Microorganism, 7 th Year, No. 26, Summer 2018

Introduction: Evaluation of symbiosis between Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and Saffron (Crocus Sativus L.) is important because this strategic plant encounters with many environmental stresses such as climatic and edaphic stresses during seasons and the AMF can let the crops increase their productivity along with the improvement of their resistance to stress factors and pathogens
Materials and methods: The spores of AMF around rhizosphere of saffron were studied in three fields of Gonabad, Khorasan province, Iran (2013-14). Moreover, the colonization of mycorrhizal fungi with saffron and sorghum trap were studied in three regions using morphologic and molecular methods by nested PCR and amplification of small subunit of rRNA gene fragments.
Results: Three species of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Scutellospora dipurpurescensFunneliformis caledonius and Rhizophagus aggregatus were identified in the soil around rhizosphere of the saffron of three regions. The colonization of sorghum trap in the soil of saffron cultivation areas was among 21 -41%, while the colonization in the natural Saffron field was 1.5% and just in one area. However, the nested PCR results revealed the colonization of Saffron in all 3 regions.  These results showed the colonization of Saffron by Rhizophagus iranicus and F. caledonius.
Discussion and conclusion: The genus and species diversity of AMF Saffron and Sorghum are different. Moreover, the hereby proposed molecular method is a more precise approach to identify AMF colonization with Saffron while classical methods may provide different and misleading results.

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