, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 277-281
Date: 19 Jun 2004

Red list plants: colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and dark septate endophytes

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Abstract

Since information concerning the mycorrhization of endangered plants is of major importance for their potential re-establishment, we determined the mycorrhizal status of Serratula tinctoria (Asteraceae), Betonica officinalis (Lamiaceae), Drosera intermedia (Droseraceae) and Lycopodiella inundata (Lycopodiaceae), occurring at one of two wetland sites (fen meadow and peat bog), which differed in soil pH and available P levels. Root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and dark septate endophytes (DSE) was quantified. Colonization by AMF appeared to be more frequent in the fen meadow than in the peat bog, and depended on the host plant. Roots of S. tinctoria and B. officinalis were well colonized by AMF in the fen meadow (35–55% root length) and both arbuscules and vesicles were observed to occur in spring as well as in autumn. In the peat bog, L. inundata showed a low level of root colonization in spring, when vesicles were found frequently but no arbuscules. In roots of D. intermedia from the peat bog, arbuscules and vesicles were observed, but AMF colonization was lower than in L. inundata. In contrast, the amount of AMF spores extracted from soil at the peat bog site was higher than from the fen meadow soil. Spore numbers did not differ between spring and autumn in the fen meadow, but they were higher in spring than in autumn in the peat bog. Acaulospora laevis or A. colossica and Glomus etunicatum were identified amongst the AMF spores extracted from soil at the two sites. S. tinctoria and B. officinalis roots were also regularly colonized by DSE (18–40% root length), while L. inundata was only rarely colonized and D. intermedia did not seem to be colonized by DSE at all.