Transfer of 14C-photosynthate to the sporocarp of an ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria amethystina
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Sporocarps of ectomycorrhizal fungi are strong carbon sinks for the source in host trees, but the details of carbon transfer from the host to the sporocarp are unknown. In this study, single seedlings of Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora) colonised by Laccaria amethystina were grown on floral foam plates fitted in rhizoboxes, resulting in fruiting on the substrate. The seedlings were photosynthetically labelled with 14CO2; 14C-labelled photosynthate transfer from leaves to sporocarps was then chased using a time-course autoradiography technique. 14C was transferred to healthy, fresh sporocarps in a purple colour ranging from primordial to elongate sporocarps, but hardly to senesced ones that had faded to white or grey, or browned. This suggested that C is transferred only to physiologically active sporocarps. Two seedlings associated with a growing sporocarp were labelled again 7 and 16 days after the first labelling, respectively. 14C accumulation in the sporocarps rose in a stepwise manner after the second labelling, indicating that sporocarps mainly used recently rather than previously photosynthesised C.