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Dual mycorrhizal associations of jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) in a nurse-pot system

Kariman, K., Barker, S. J., Finnegan, P. M. and Tibbett, M. (2012) Dual mycorrhizal associations of jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) in a nurse-pot system. Australian Journal of Botany, 60 (8). pp. 661-668. ISSN 0067-1924

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1071/BT12152


Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata Donn ex Sm.) plants, like many other eucalypts, can form symbiotic associations with both arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. To study this tripartite relationship we developed a novel nurse-pot system to allow us to investigate the extent and temporal colonisation dynamics of jarrah by two AM species (Rhizophagus irregularis (Błaszk., Wubet, Renker & Buscot) C. Walker & A. Schüßler comb. nov. and Scutellospora calospora Nicol. & Gerd.) and two putative ECM species (Austroboletus occidentalis Watling & N.M. Greg. and Scleroderma sp.) and their potential effects on jarrah growth and nutrition. Our nurse-pot system, using jarrah as both the nurse plant and test plant, was developed to establish extraradical hyphal networks of both AM and ECM fungi that act as single or dual inoculum for test plants. Mycorrhizal colonisation was described and quantified, and growth and nutritional effects measured and analysed. Mycorrhizal colonisation increased with time for the test seedlings exposed to hyphae networks from S. calospora and Scleroderma sp. The nurse-pot system was effective at initiating colonisation of functioning AM or (putative) ECM systems separately but the ECM symbiosis was inhibited where a dual AM + ECM inoculum (R. irregularis and Scleroderma sp.) was present. The presence of S. calospora, A. occidentalis and Scleroderma sp. individually significantly increased the shoot biomass of seedlings compared with non-mycorrhizal controls. The two AM isolates had different physiological effects on jarrah plants. S. calospora improved growth and micronutrient uptake of jarrah seedlings whereas no positive response was observed with R. irregularis. In addition, as an interesting observation, the non-responsive AM fungus R. irregularis suppressed the ECM symbiosis in dually inoculated plants where ECM structures, positive growth response and nutritional effects were absent. When inoculated individually, ECM isolates dominated the growth response and uptake of P and other nutrients in this dual symbiotic plant. Despite the positive growth response in the A. occidentalis treatment, ECM structures were not observed in either nurse or test seedlings. From the effects of A. occidentalis on jarrah we hypothesise that this fungus forms a functional mycorrhizal-type partnership even without forming archetypal structures in and on the root

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:42835
Publisher:CSIRO Publishing

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