ARDA: Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Drought Tolerance of Rice (Oryza sativa)

The project focuses on unraveling the role of the mycorrhizal symbiosis in enhancing drought tolerance of rice.

Rice is mostly cultivated under rain-fed condition. The yield can be severely reduced when water supply is insufficient, therefore drought is one of the major constraints for rice production. Rice has their own adatating mechanisms to drought stress, and they are also assisted by living soil organisms. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) fungi is amongst one of the soil microorganisms that may enhance drought resistance of rice. It assists plants in uptake water and nutrients. It also plays roles in regulating plant hormones, as well as stomatal behaviour under drought stress. Apart from that, intercropping is likely contributing to the improvement of drought resistance and AM fungi activity. Intercropping can enhance AM fungi colonisation and improve root morphology of rice which beneficial for drought resistance. Several studies have found positive effects of AM fungi on drought resistance of plant, however the effects and mechanisms on drought resistance of rice still remains unclear. Thus, this research aims to gain more insight about the symbiosis between AM fungi and rice under drought stress. The study will focus on the effects of AM fungi on the growth of rice, rice hormones, water potential and the contribution of AM fungi and intercropping on drought resistance of rice. The research will be carried out in Thailand in a pot and field experiment. This research will provide a better understanding of the symbiosis between AM fungi and rice under drought condition. Furthermore, It can lead to a further research on improving water use efficiency of rice, along with improving soil quality. The experiments which will be performed in Thailand.