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Mycorrhiza. 2014 May;24(4):247-57. doi: 10.1007/s00572-013-0535-6. Epub 2013 Nov 9.

Fine-scale distribution of ectomycorrhizal fungi colonizing Tsuga diversifolia seedlings growing on rocks in a subalpine Abies veitchii forest.

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1
Graduate school of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8657, Japan, y_don@fr.a.u-tokyo.ac.jp.

Abstract

Numerous species of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi coexist under the forest floor. To explore the mechanisms of coexistence, we investigated the fine-scale distribution of ECM fungal species colonizing root tips in the root system of Tsuga diversifolia seedlings in a subalpine forest. ECM root tips of three seedlings growing on the flat top surface of rocks were sampled after recording their positions in the root system. After the root tips were grouped by terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of ITS rDNA, the fungal species representing each T-RFLP group were identified using DNA sequencing. Based on the fungal species identification, the distribution of root tips colonized by each ECM fungus was mapped. Significant clustering of root tips was estimated for each fungal species by comparing actual and randomly simulated distributions. In total, the three seedlings were colonized by 40 ECM fungal species. The composition of colonizing fungal species was quite different among the seedlings. Twelve of the 15 major ECM fungal species clustered significantly within a few centimeters. Some clusters overlapped or intermingled, while others were unique. Areas with high fungal species diversity were also identified in the root system. In this report, the mechanisms underlying generation of these ECM root tip clusters in the root system are discussed.

PMID:
24212400
DOI:
10.1007/s00572-013-0535-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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