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New Phytol. 2007;173(4):798-807.

Interactions between extraradical ectomycorrhizal mycelia, microbes associated with the mycelia and growth rate of Norway spruce (Picea abies) clones.

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1
Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) Vantaa Research Unit, PO Box 18, FI-01301, Vantaa, Finland. tiina.korkama@metla.fi

Abstract

Despite their ecological relevance, field studies of the extraradical mycelia of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi are rare. Here we examined in situ interactions between ECM mycelia and host vigour. Ectomycorrhizal mycelia were harvested with in-growth mesh bags buried under Norway spruce (Picea abies) clones planted in 1994 in a randomized block design. Mycelial biomass was determined and fungal species were identified by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) region. Microbial community structure in the mycelium was investigated by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profiling. Compared to slow-growing spruce clones, fast-growing clones tended to support denser mycelia where the relative proportions of Atheliaceae fungi and PLFAs indicative of Gram-positive bacteria were higher. Ascomycetes and PLFAs representative of Gram-negative bacteria were more common with slow-growing clones. In general, the ECM mycelial community was similar to the ECM root-tip community. Growth rate of the hosts, the ECM mycelial community and the microbes associated with the mycelium were related, suggesting multitrophic interactions between trees, fungi and bacteria.

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