Mycorrhizal symbioses

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-8435-5_7

ABSTRACT The aim of this Chapter is to review and integrate current knowledge of the impact of mycorrhizal symbioses on plant functioning
and adaptation with specific emphasis on P acquisition at various levels of cellular organization, from the molecular, biochemical
and physiological to the whole plant. Accordingly, the available information will be structured as follows: (i) mycorrhizas
as a plant strategy for P acquisition; (ii) fungal-plant integration to establish functional arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis;
(iii) functional biology of Pi uptake by AM plants; (iv) ecological impact of AM symbiosis on plant community structure and
productivity; and (v) mycorrhizosphere interactions and ecosystem P cycling.

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    ABSTRACT: Contents 1 I. 1 II. 2 III. 2 IV. 4 V. 6 VI. 7 VII. 8 VIII. 10 11 References 11 SUMMARY: Demand of all living organisms on the same nutrients forms the basis for interspecific competition between plants and microorganisms in soils. This competition is especially strong in the rhizosphere. To evaluate competitive and mutualistic interactions between plants and microorganisms and to analyse ecological consequences of these interactions, we analysed 424 data pairs from 41 (15) N-labelling studies that investigated (15) N redistribution between roots and microorganisms. Calculated Michaelis-Menten kinetics based on Km (Michaelis constant) and Vmax (maximum uptake capacity) values from 77 studies on the uptake of nitrate, ammonia, and amino acids by roots and microorganisms clearly showed that, shortly after nitrogen (N) mobilization from soil organic matter and litter, microorganisms take up most N. Lower Km values of microorganisms suggest that they are especially efficient at low N concentrations, but can also acquire more N at higher N concentrations (Vmax ) compared with roots. Because of the unidirectional flow of nutrients from soil to roots, plants are the winners for N acquisition in the long run. Therefore, despite strong competition between roots and microorganisms for N, a temporal niche differentiation reflecting their generation times leads to mutualistic relationships in the rhizosphere. This temporal niche differentiation is highly relevant ecologically because it: protects ecosystems from N losses by leaching during periods of slow or no root uptake; continuously provides roots with available N according to plant demand; and contributes to the evolutionary development of mutualistic interactions between roots and microorganisms.
    New Phytologist 03/2013; · 6.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are ubiquitous symbionts of higher plants in terrestrial ecosystems, while the occurrence of the AM symbiosis is influenced by a complex set of abiotic and biotic factors. To reveal the regional distribution pattern of AM fungi as driven by multiple environmental factors, and to understand the ecological importance of AM fungi in natural ecosystems, we conducted a field investigation on AM fungal abundance along environmental gradients in the arid and semi-arid grasslands of northern China. In addition to plant parameters recorded in situ, soil samples were collected, and soil chemo-physical and biological parameters were measured in the lab. Statistical analyses were performed to reveal the relative contribution of climatic, edaphic and vegetation factors to AM fungal abundance, especially for extraradical hyphal length density (HLD) in the soil. The results indicated that HLD were positively correlated with mean annual temperature (MAT), soil clay content and soil pH, but negatively correlated with both soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil available N. The multiple regressions and structural equation model showed that MAT was the key positive contributor and soil fertility was the key negative contributor to HLD. Furthermore, both the intraradical AM colonization (IMC) and relative abundance of AM fungi, which was quantified by real-time PCR assay, tended to decrease along the increasing SOC content. With regard to the obvious negative correlation between MAT and SOC in the research area, the positive correlation between MAT and HLD implied that AM fungi could potentially mitigate soil carbon losses especially in infertile soils under global warming. However, direct evidence from long-term experiments is still expected to support the AM fungal contribution to soil carbon pools.
    PLoS ONE 02/2013; 8(2):e57593. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While plant–fungal interactions are important determinants of plant community assembly and ecosystem functioning, the processes underlying fungal community composition are poorly understood.Here, we studied for the first time the root-associated eumycotan communities in a set of co-occurring plant species of varying relatedness in a species-rich, semi-arid grassland in Germany. The study system provides an opportunity to evaluate the importance of host plants and gradients in soil type and landscape structure as drivers of fungal community structure on a relevant spatial scale. We used 454 pyrosequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer region to analyse root-associated eumycotan communities of 25 species within the Asteraceae, which were sampled at different locations within a soil type gradient. We partitioned the variance accounted for by three predictors (host plant phylogeny, spatial distribution and soil type) to quantify their relative roles in determining fungal community composition and used null model analyses to determine whether community composition was influenced by biotic interactions among the fungi.We found a high fungal diversity (156 816 sequences clustered in 1100 operational taxonomic units (OTUs)). Most OTUs belonged to the phylum Ascomycota (35.8%); the most abundant phylotype best-matched Phialophora mustea. Basidiomycota were represented by 18.3%, with Sebacina as most abundant genus. The three predictors explained 30% of variation in the community structure of root-associated fungi, with host plant phylogeny being the most important variance component. Null model analysis suggested that many fungal taxa co-occurred less often than expected by chance, which demonstrates spatial segregation and indicates that negative interactions may prevail in the assembly of fungal communities.Synthesis. The results show that the phylogenetic relationship of host plants is the most important predictor of root-associated fungal community assembly, indicating that fungal colonization of host plants might be facilitated by certain plant traits that may be shared among closely related plant species.
    Journal of Ecology 12/2013; · 5.43 Impact Factor