, Volume 47, Issue 6, pp 715-727

Synergistic effect of soil pathogenic fungi and nematodes reducing bioprotection of Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on the grass Leymus arenarius

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Abstract

We examined the role ofarbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in thebioprotection of the sand dune grass Leymus arenarius against soil fungi andnematodes. Six soil fungi (Fusariumnivale, Fusarium sp., Cladosporiumherbarum, Cladosporium sp., Phomasp., Sporothrix sp.) and four species ofnematodes (Pratylenchoidesmagnicauda, Paratylenchusmicrodorus, Rotylenchus goodeyi, Merlinius joctus) were isolated from a coastalsand dune in Iceland where a population of L. arenarius was declining in vigour. Acommercial AMF inoculum (Microbio Ltd. England)containing Glomus caledonium, G.fasciculatum, and G. mossae was used.Seedlings of L. arenarius were grownunder controlled conditions in sterile sand andsubjected to the following treatments: (1)control, (2) + AMF, (3) + AMF + soil fungi, (4)+ AMF + nematodes, (5) + AMF + nematodes + soilfungi, (6) + soil fungi, (7) + soil fungi +nematodes, (8) + nematodes. Mycorrhizal plantshad significantly the highest root dry weightof all treatments. Mycorrhizal plants hadsignificantly higher leaf dry weight thanplants in other treatments, with the exceptionof AMF inoculated plants exposed to nematodes. Mycorrhizal plants exposed to soil fungi andnematodes had significantly higher growthparameters except total number of leaves thanAMF inoculated plants exposed to both soilfungi and nematodes. Mycorrhizal plantssubjected to a dual application of soil fungiand nematodes did not vary significantly in anygrowth parameters from plants without AMF thatwere exposed to a dual application of soilfungi and nematodes. This suggests asynergistic effect of soil fungi and nematodesthat break down the protection of AMF againstpathogens. The results are discussed inrelation to plant dynamics of sand duneecosystems.