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Mycorrhiza. 2007 Oct;17(7):597-605. Epub 2007 Jun 14.

Molecular study of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonizing the sporophyte of the eusporangiate rattlesnake fern (Botrychium virginianum, Ophioglossaceae).

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  • 1Department of Plant Anatomy, Institute of Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C, 1117, Budapest, Hungary.


The arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi colonizing the sporophytes of the eusporangiate rattlesnake fern (Botrychium virginianum, Ophioglossaceae) in its Hungarian population were investigated in the present study. Different regions of the nrRNA gene complex were analyzed using two different primer sets. These produced similar results for the detected AM fungi phylotypes. Several AM fungal lineages were associated with sporophytes of B. virginianum. Phylogenetic analyses of different partial small subunit datasets grouped one lineage into the Gigasporaceae, showing similarities with Scutellospora sequences. In addition to unidentified Scutellospora phylotypes, it is possible that S. gregaria also colonized the fern. Several AM fungal phylotypes colonizing the sporophytes grouped into Glomus group A. They did not form distinct clades but grouped with sequences of AM fungi with different geographic and host origins. One main lineage clustered into the widespread G. fasciculatum/G. intraradices group and one into the subgroup GlGrAc, while others had no affinity to the subgroups of Glomus group A. As AM fungal phylotypes associated with B. virginianum seem to belong to widespread AM fungal taxa and show no specificity to this fern, we suppose that the previously described special anatomy of AM of B. virginianum is determined by the plant.

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