Plant and Soil

, Volume 226, Issue 2, pp 275-285

First online:

Uptake and transport of organic and inorganic nitrogen by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

  • Heidi-Jayne HawkinsAffiliated withInstitute of Plant Nutrition, Hohenheim University
  • , Anders JohansenAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology and Molecular Biology, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University
  • , Eckhard GeorgeAffiliated withInstitute of Plant Nutrition, Hohenheim University

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New information on N uptake and transport of inorganic and organic N in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi is reviewed here. Hyphae of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus mosseae (Nicol. and Gerd.) Gerd. and Trappe (BEG 107) were shown to transport N supplied as 15N-Gly to wheat plants after a 48 h labelling period in semi-hydroponic (Perlite), non-sterile, compartmentalised pot cultures. Of the 15N supplied to hyphae in pot cultures over 48 h, 0.2 and 6% was transported to plants supplied with insufficient N or sufficient N, respectively. The increased 15N uptake at the higher N supply was related to the higher hyphal length density at the higher N supply. These findings were supported by results from in vitro and monoxenic studies. Excised hyphae from four Glomus isolates (BEG 84, 107, 108 and 110) acquired N from both inorganic (15NH4 15NO3, 15NO3 or 15NH4 +) and organic (15N-Gly and 15N-Glu, except in BEG 84 where amino acid uptake was not tested) sources in vitro during short-term experiments. Confirming these studies under sterile conditions where no bacterial mineralisation of organic N occurred, monoxenic cultures of Glomus intraradices Schenk and Smith were shown to transport N from organic sources (15N-Gly and 15N-Glu) to Ri T-DNA transformed, AM-colonised carrot roots in a long-term experiment. The higher N uptake (also from organic N) by isolates from nutrient poor sites (BEG 108 and 110) compared to that from a conventional agricultural field implied that ecotypic differences occur. Although the arbuscular mycorrhizal isolates used contributed to the acquisition of N from both inorganic and organic sources by the host plants/roots used, this was not enough to increase the N nutritional status of the mycorrhizal compared to non-mycorrhizal hosts.

arbuscular mycorrhiza Daucus carota Glomus mosseae Glomus intraradices monoxenic culture N uptake Triticum aestivum