, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 299–307 | Cite as

Morphological characterization of the mycorrhiza formed by Helianthemum almeriense Pau with Terfezia claveryi Chatin and Picoa lefebvrei (Pat.) Maire

  • A. Gutiérrez
  • A. Morte
  • M. Honrubia
Original Paper


This work presents the first anatomical description of the mycorrhizal systems of Helianthemum almeriense, and of the structure and ultrastructure of the mycorrhizae formed by this plant species with the ascomycetes Terfezia claveryi and Picoa lefebvrei. Four different mycorrhizal systems are described, the club-shaped mycorrhiza being the most abundant. The type of mycorrhiza formed depended on the mycorrhiza culture conditions, but not on the fungal species. For both fungal species, H. almeriense formed an endomycorrhiza in natural field conditions, an ecto- and ectendomycorrhiza without a sheath in pot cultures, and an ectomycorrhiza with a characteristic sheath and Hartig net in in vitro cultures. This is the first report of a typical sheath in Helianthemum-desert truffle mycorrhizal associations. The results support the idea that culture conditions can induce changes in mycorrhiza morphology and that there is no clear barrier between the two main types of mycorrhiza organization in Helianthemum species. The ultrastructural study confirmed the regular presence of T. claveryi intracellular hyphae in direct contact with the host wall, a localization which seems to be a characteristic of the T. claveryi mycorrhiza organization. The P. lefebvrei mycorrhiza organization was characterized by intracellular hyphae with large amounts of electron-dense globules, probably with a lipidic content, and a warty ornamentation on the wall of the root external hyphae.


Ultrastructure Desert truffle Helianthemum Terfezia Picoa 



This work was supported by FEDER-CICYT project 1FD97–1746-TRUDESPAL and Consejería de Agricultura, Agua y Medio Ambiente de la Región de Murcia Project nº 4548. A. Gutiérrez held a predoctoral fellowship from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología. The authors are grateful to Mr Francisco González for providing fresh ascocarps.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Biología Vegetal, Facultad de BiologíaUniversidad de MurciaMurciaSpain

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