Evidence of differences between the communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonizing galls and roots of Prunus persica infected by the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita

Maria del Mar Alguacil, Emma Torrecillas, Zenaida Lozano, Antonio Roldán
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2011, 77 (24): 8656-61
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) play important roles as plant protection agents, reducing or suppressing nematode colonization. However, it has never been investigated whether the galls produced in roots by nematode infection are colonized by AMF. This study tested whether galls produced by Meloidogyne incognita infection in Prunus persica roots are colonized by AMF. We also determined the changes in AMF composition and biodiversity mediated by infection with this root-knot nematode. DNA from galls and roots of plants infected by M. incognita and from roots of noninfected plants was extracted, amplified, cloned, and sequenced using AMF-specific primers. Phylogenetic analysis using the small-subunit (SSU) ribosomal DNA (rDNA) data set revealed 22 different AMF sequence types (17 Glomus sequence types, 3 Paraglomus sequence types, 1 Scutellospora sequence type, and 1 Acaulospora sequence type). The highest AMF diversity was found in uninfected roots, followed by infected roots and galls. This study indicates that the galls produced in P. persica roots due to infection with M. incognita were colonized extensively by a community of AMF, belonging to the families Paraglomeraceae and Glomeraceae, that was different from the community detected in roots. Although the function of the AMF in the galls is still unknown, we hypothesize that they act as protection agents against opportunistic pathogens.

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