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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1999 May;65(5):2006-14.

Structure and dynamics of experimentally introduced and naturally occurring laccaria sp. Discrete genotypes in a douglas fir plantation

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Equipe de Microbiologie Forestiere, Centre de Recherche de Nancy, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 54280 Champenoux, France.


Ectomycorrhizal fungi have been introduced in forest nurseries to improve seedling growth. Outplanting of inoculated seedlings to forest plantations raises the questions about inoculant persistence and its effects on indigenous fungal populations. We previously showed (M.-A. Selosse et al. Mol. Ecol. 7:561-573, 1998) that the American strain Laccaria bicolor S238N persisted 10 years after outplanting in a French Douglas fir plantation, without introgression or selfing and without fruiting on uninoculated adjacent plots. In the present study, the relevance of those results to sympatric strains was assessed for another part of the plantation, planted in 1985 with seedlings inoculated with the French strain L. bicolor 81306 or left uninoculated. About 720 Laccaria sp. sporophores, collected from 1994 to 1997, were typed by using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA markers and PCR amplification of the mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal DNAs. All plots were colonized by small spontaneous discrete genotypes (genets). The inoculant strain 81306 abundantly fruited beneath inoculated trees, with possible introgression in indigenous Laccaria populations but without selfing. In contrast to our previous survey of L. bicolor S238N, L. bicolor 81306 colonized a plot of uninoculated trees. Meiotic segregation analysis verified that the invading genet was strain 81306 (P < 0.00058), implying a vegetative growth of 1.1 m. year-1. This plot was also invaded in 1998 by strain S238N used to inoculate other trees of the plantation. Five other uninoculated plots were free of these inoculant strains. The fate of inoculant strains thus depends less on their geographic origin than on unknown local factors.

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