Antagonistic effects of dual plant hosts for one root-hugger of a mycorrhizal fungus.
Golubski, Antonio*,1, Lussenhop, John, 1 University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
ABSTRACT- To explore the effects of multiple plant partners on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), we constructed mesocosms consisting of a root-free compartment between two plant compartments. We inoculated these with either Glomus claroideum or Scutellospora fulgida, and either planted both plant compartments with indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), planted both with big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi), or planted one plant compartment with each species (constituting a dual host treatment). The two host species were antagonistic in their effects on mycorrhizal hyphal length per gram dry soil of Glomus in the root-free compartments. This was not seen in the plant compartments or in the Scutellospora treatment. Interestingly, hyphal length of Glomus was also lower in root-free compartments overall, while hyphal length of Scutellospora was not. These results suggest that not only can plant hosts interact in their effects on AMF, and that such interaction be AMF isolate specific, but that these effects may vary spatially. These types of differences between AMF may have important implications for how the distributions of plant hosts affect competition between AMF.
Key words: arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, spatial structure, neighbor effects
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