, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 577–587 | Cite as

Acaulospora brasiliensis comb. nov. and Acaulospora alpina (Glomeromycota) from upland Scotland: morphology, molecular phylogeny and DNA-based detection in roots

  • Manuela Krüger
  • Christopher Walker
  • Arthur SchüßlerEmail author
Original Paper


Spores of two supposedly arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal species, new to the United Kingdom and recently described as Acaulospora alpina and Ambispora brasiliensis (Glomeromycota), were discovered in soil samples from moorland in upland Scotland. Soil and plant trap pot cultures were established, but attempts to establish these fungi in single-species pot cultures with Plantago lanceolata as host were unsuccessful. Nevertheless, based on a 1.5-kb DNA fragment spanning part of the small subunit rRNA gene, the internal transcribed spacer region and part of the large subunit rRNA gene, both these species could be detected directly in field-sampled roots, together with one uncultured species each of Scutellospora, Rhizophagus (former Glomus group Ab, or ‘Glomus intraradices clade’) and Acaulospora. Whereas A. alpina has characteristic morphological similarities to other species in its genus, A. brasiliensis morphologically has little in common with any other species in Ambispora. The molecular phylogeny, DNA barcoding and morphological evidence clearly place A. brasiliensis in the genus Acaulospora. We therefore rename the species, reported from Brazil and Scotland, as Acaulospora brasiliensis comb. nov., and discuss ecological aspects of the very different environments from which A. brasiliensis and A. alpina have been reported.


Arbuscular mycorrhiza Glomeromycota Acaulospora brasiliensis Molecular systematics Molecular phylogeny DNA barcoding Molecular ecology 



We thank Jeremy Milne, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, for collecting the original samples; Helen Cole and Clare Rickerby, Naturalists, National Trust for Scotland, Killin, Perthshire, for taking the second batch of samples; and Claudia Krüger for PCR amplifying and cloning DNA from some of the samples. We also thank Maria Leonora Maia, curator, URM, for the loan of the holotype. Some funding was obtained from the DFG (German Research Foundation, Schu 1203/8).

Supplementary material

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ESMdocx (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuela Krüger
    • 1
  • Christopher Walker
    • 2
    • 3
  • Arthur Schüßler
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biology, GeneticsLudwig-Maximilians-University MunichPlanegg-MartinsriedGermany
  2. 2.Honorary Research Associate, Royal Botanic Garden EdinburghEdinburghUK
  3. 3.Honorary Research Fellow, School of Earth Sciences and EnvironmentUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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