Article

Small genetic differences between ericoid mycorrhizal fungi affect nitrogen uptake by Vaccinium.

Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UU, UK.
New Phytologist (Impact Factor: 6.74). 12/2008; 181(3):708-18. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02678.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ericoid mycorrhizal fungi have been shown to differ in their pattern of nitrogen (N) use in pure culture. Here, we investigate whether this functional variation is maintained in symbiosis using three ascomycetes from a clade not previously shown to include ericoid mycorrhizal taxa. Vaccinium macrocarpon and Vaccinium vitis-idaea were inoculated with three fungal strains known to form coils in Vaccinium roots, which differed in their patterns of N use in liquid culture. (15)N was used to trace the uptake of -N, -N and glutamine-N into shoots. (15)N transfer differed among the three fungal strains, including two that had identical internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences, and was quantitatively related to fungal growth in liquid culture at low carbon availability. These results demonstrate that functional differences among closely related ericoid mycorrhizal fungi are maintained in symbiosis with their hosts, and suggest that N transfer to plant shoots in ericoid mycorrhizas is under fungal control.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
101 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study, we characterize and compare the genetic structure of aboveground and belowground populations of the ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria amethystina in an unmanaged mixed beech forest. Fruiting bodies and mycorrhizas of L. amethystina were mapped and collected in four plots in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains (Poland). A total of 563 fruiting bodies and 394 mycorrhizas were successfully genotyped using the rDNA IGS1 (intergenic spacer) and seven simple sequence repeat markers. We identified two different genetic clusters of L. amethystina in all of the plots, suggesting that a process of sympatric isolation may be occurring at a local scale. The proportion of individuals belonging to each cluster was similar among plots aboveground while it significantly differed belowground. Predominance of a given cluster could be explained by distinct host preferences or by priority effects and competition among genets. Both aboveground and belowground populations consisted of many intermingling small genets. Consequently, host trees were simultaneously colonized by many L. amethystina genets that may show different ecophysiological abilities. Our data showed that several genets may last for at least 1 year belowground and sustain into the next season. Ectomycorrhizal species reproducing by means of spores can form highly diverse and persistent belowground genets that may provide the host tree with higher resilience in a changing environment and enhance ecosystem performance.
    Molecular Ecology 03/2012; 21(9):2116-29. · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t We investigated the influence of fire return interval length on the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) community of a Pinus pinaster dominated forest and on the potential for common ECM networks (CMNs) between understorey shrubs and P. pinaster. ECM root tips were sampled from five shrub species belonging to the genera Arbutus, Cistus and Halimium and from maritime pine in four areas of central Portugal charac-terized by differing fire return interval length. Fungal symbionts were identified using molecular tech-niques with direct sequencing of the nrDNA ITS region. Twenty nine ECM species and sixteen non-ECM root inhabitants were identified. Six years after wildfire disturbance ECM species richness did not differ significantly between unburnt and burnt areas. Nine ECM fungal species were common to pine and shrubs and both their frequency of occurrence and proportion were significantly higher in the unburnt area when compared with both areas subjected to fire. Our study revealed that while the potential for CMNs between understorey shrub species and pine seemed to be maintained in the long fire return interval area, recurrent fires significantly reduced the frequency of occurrence and the proportion of common symbiont species. High fire frequencies could therefore delay the process of re-colonization by pine seedlings limiting their dispersal in new settings.
    Soil Biology and Biochemistry 01/2012; 46:136-144. · 3.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background and scope Plant communities and un-derlying soils undergo substantial, coordinated shifts throughout ecosystem development. However, shifts in the composition and function of mycorrhizal fungi remain poorly understood, despite their role as a major interface between plants and soil. We synthesise evidence for shifts among mycorrhizal types (i.e., ectomycorrhizas, arbuscular and ericoid mycorrhizas) and in fungal communities within mycor-rhizal types along long-term chronosequences that include retrogressive stages. These systems repre-sent strong, predictable patterns of increasing, then declining soil fertility during ecosystem develop-ment, and are associated with coordinated changes in plant and fungal functional traits and ecological processes. Conclusions Mycorrhizal types do not demonstrate consistent shifts through ecosystem development. Rather, most mycorrhizal types can dominate at any stage of ecosystem development, driven by biogeography (i.e., availability of mycorrhizal host species), plant community assembly, climate and other factors. In contrast to coordinated shifts in soil fertility, plant traits and ecological processes throughout ecosystem development, shifts in fun-gal communities within and among mycorrhizal types are weak or idiosyncratic. The consequences of these changes in mycorrhizal communities and their function for plant–soil feedbacks or control over long-term nutrient depletion remain poorly understood, but could be resolved through empirical analyses of long-term soil chronosequences.
    Plant and Soil 01/2013; 367:11-39. · 3.24 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
31 Downloads
Available from
May 16, 2014