Communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in Pyrus pyrifolia var. culta (Japanese pear) and an understory herbaceous plant Plantago asiatica

Yuko Yoshimura, Akifumi Ido, Teruyuki Matsumoto, Masahide Yamato
Microbes and Environments 2013, 28 (2): 204-10
We investigated communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in the fine roots of Pyrus pyrifolia var. culta, and Plantago asiatica to consider the relationship between orchard trees and herbaceous plants in AMF symbioses. The AMF communities were analyzed on the basis of the partial fungal DNA sequences of the nuclear small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rDNA), which were amplified using the AMF-specific primers AML1 and AML2. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the obtained AMF sequences were divided into 23 phylotypes. Among them, 12 phylotypes included AMF from both host plants, and most of the obtained sequences (689/811) were affiliated to them. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that the host plant species did not have a significant effect on the distribution of AMF phylotypes, whereas the effects of sampling site, soil total C, soil total N and soil-available P were significant. It was also found that the mean observed overlaps of AMF phylotypes between the paired host plants in the same soil cores (27.1% of phylotypes shared) were significantly higher than the mean 1,000 simulated overlaps (14.2%). Furthermore, the same AMF sequences (100% sequence identity) were detected from both host plants in 8/12 soil cores having both roots. Accordingly, we concluded that Py. pyrifolia and Pl. asiatica examined shared some AMF communities, which suggested that understory herbaceous plants may function as AMF inoculum sources for orchard trees.

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