, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 245-250
Date: 22 Feb 2006

Mycorrhiza of the host-specific Lactarius deterrimus on the roots of Picea abies and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

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Abstract

The ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete species Lactarius deterrimus Gröger is considered to be a strictly host-specific mycobiont of Picea abies (L.) Karst. However, we identified arbutoid mycorrhiza formed by this fungus on the roots of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. in a mixed stand at the alpine timberline; typical ectomycorrhiza of P. abies were found in close relation. A. uva-ursi is known as an extremely unspecific phytobiont. The mycorrhizae of both associations are described and compared morphologically. The mycorrhiza formed by L. deterrimus on both A. uva-ursi and P. abies show typical ectomycorrhizal features such as a hyphal mantle and a Hartig net. The main difference between the mycorrhizal symbioses with the different phytobionts is the occurrence of intracellular hyphae in the epidermal cells of A. uva-ursi. This emphasizes the importance of the plant partner for mycorrhizal anatomy. This is the first report of a previously considered host-specific ectomycorrhizal fungus in association with A. uva-ursi under natural conditions. The advantages of this loose specificity between the fungus and plant species is discussed.