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Mycorrhiza. 2002 Apr;12(2):93-6.

Phosphorus-32 absorption and translocation to host plants by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi at low root-zone temperature.

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  • 1Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Macdonald Campus of McGill University, 2111 Lakeshore Road, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, H9X 3V9 Canada.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) mycelia persist in soil over winter. Functioning of the AM symbiosis very early in the spring when the soil temperature is low may be of ecological significance for perennial and biannual plants in cool climates. An indoor experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of low root-zone temperatures on 32P uptake by 10-week-old leek plants (Allium porrum L.) inoculated or not with the AM fungus Glomus intraradices Schenck & Smith. Plants were grown in a greenhouse at approximately 23 degrees C prior to exposing their roots to 23 degrees C, 15 degrees C or 0 degree C. Mycorrhizal colonization increased 32P activity of leek leaves at a root-zone temperature of 23 degrees C seven days after injection of 32P into the soil, whereas 14 days after injection, 32P increases were measured at both 23 degrees C and 15 degrees C. The lack of difference in 32P activity between AM and non-AM plants at 0 degree C, both 7 and 14 days after injection, suggests that the AM fungus is not functional at this low root-zone temperature.

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