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Mycorrhiza. 2004 Oct;14(5):313-22. Epub 2003 Nov 21.

The early-stage ectomycorrhizal Thelephoroid fungal sp. is competitive and effective on Afzelia africana Sm. in nursery conditions in Senegal.

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Laboratoire de Microbiologie des Sols Tropicaux, Centre de recherche IRD/ISRA, BP 1386, Dakar, Senegal.


This study was conducted to evaluate the competitiveness and effectiveness of Thelephoroid fungal sp. ORS.XM002 against native ectomycorrhizal fungal species colonizing potted Afzelia africana seedlings during 3 months of growth in different forest soils collected from under mature trees. Using morphotyping and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the nuclear rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS), we were able to distinguish the introduced Thelephoroid fungal sp. ORS.XM002 among native ectomycorrhizal fungal species that form ectomycorrhizae in A. africana seedlings. The morphotype (MT) of the introduced fungus showed some color variation, with a shift from light- to dark-brown observed from younger to older mycorrhizal tips. We were able to differentiate the ITS type xm002 of the introduced fungus from the 14 ITS-RFLP types characterizing the 9 native MT that occurred in forest soils. The frequency of ITS type xm002 ranged from 40% to 49% depending on the forest soil used, and was always higher than those of ITS types from native dark-brown MT that occurred in inoculated seedlings 3 months after inoculation. We considered Thelephoroid fungal sp. ORS.XM002 to be responsible for stimulation of mycorrhizal colonization of inoculated A. africana seedlings when compared with control seedlings in forest soils. This fungus appeared to be more effective in increasing the root dry weight of A. africana seedlings. To identify the unknown introduced fungal species and native MT, we sequenced the ML5/ML6 region of the mitochondrial large subunit rRNA. Sequence analysis showed that these fungi belong to three ML5/ML6 groups closely related to the Cortinarioid, Thelephoroid, and Sclerodermataceous taxa. The molecular evidence for the persistence of Thelephoroid fungal sp. ORS.XM002 despite competition from native fungi argues in favor of using this fungus with A. africana in nursery soil conditions in Senegal.

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