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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2002 Apr;68(4):1919-24.

Towards growth of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi independent of a plant host.

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  • 1Botanisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, D-50923 Cologne, Germany.


When surface-sterilized spores of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF) Glomus intraradices Sy167 were germinated on agar plates in the slightly modified minimum mineral medium described by G. Bécard and J. A. Fortin (New Phytol. 108:211-218, 1988), slime-forming bacteria, identified as Paenibacillus validus, frequently grew up. These bacteria were able to support growth of the fungus on the agar plates. In the presence of P. validus, hyphae branched profusely and formed coiled structures. These were much more densely packed than the so-called arbuscule-like structures which are formed by AMF grown in coculture with carrot roots transformed with T-DNA from Agrobacterium rhizogenes. The presence of P. validus alone also enabled G. intraradices to form new spores, mainly at the densely packed hyphal coils. The new spores were not as abundant as and were smaller than those formed by AMF in the monoxenic culture with carrot root tissues, but they also contained lipid droplets and a large number of nuclei. In these experiments P. validus could not be replaced by bacteria such as Escherichia coli K-12 or Azospirillum brasilense Sp7. Although no conditions under which the daughter spores regerminate and colonize plants have been found yet, and no factor(s) from P. validus which stimulates fungal growth has been identified, the present findings might be a significant step forward toward growth of AMF independent of any plant host.

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