, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 831–846 | Cite as

Experimental evidence of ericoid mycorrhizal potential within Serendipitaceae (Sebacinales)

  • Martin Vohník
  • Matěj Pánek
  • Judith Fehrer
  • Marc-André Selosse
Original Article


The Sebacinales are a monophyletic group of ubiquitous hymenomycetous mycobionts which form ericoid and orchid mycorrhizae, ecto- and ectendomycorrhizae, and nonspecific root endophytic associations with a wide spectrum of plants. However, due to the complete lack of fungal isolates derived from Ericaceae roots, the Sebacinales ericoid mycorrhizal (ErM) potential has not yet been tested experimentally. Here, we report for the first time isolation of a serendipitoid (formerly Sebacinales Group B) mycobiont from Ericaceae which survived in pure culture for several years. This allowed us to test its ability to form ericoid mycorrhizae with an Ericaceae host in vitro, to describe its development and colonization pattern in host roots over time, and to compare its performance with typical ErM fungi and other serendipitoids derived from non-Ericaceae hosts. Out of ten serendipitoid isolates tested, eight intracellularly colonized Vaccinium hair roots, but only the Ericaceae-derived isolate repeatedly formed typical ericoid mycorrhiza morphologically identical to ericoid mycorrhiza commonly found in naturally colonized Ericaceae, but yet different from ericoid mycorrhiza formed in vitro by the prominent ascomycetous ErM fungus Rhizoscyphus ericae. One Orchidaceae-derived isolate repeatedly formed abundant hyaline intracellular microsclerotia morphologically identical to those occasionally found in naturally colonized Ericaceae, and an isolate of Serendipita (= Piriformospora) indica produced abundant intracellular chlamydospores typical of this species. Our results confirm for the first time experimentally that some Sebacinales can form ericoid mycorrhiza, point to their broad endophytic potential in Ericaceae hosts, and suggest possible ericoid mycorrhizal specificity in Serendipitaceae.


Ericaceae Ericoid mycorrhiza Sebacinales Serendipitaceae Endophytes In vitro re-synthesis 



This study is part of the long-term research project of the Institute of Botany ASCR (RVO 67985939) and the Department of Experimental Plant Biology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague (MŠMT LO1417), and Marc-André Selosse’s research on Sebacinales in collaboration with the Institute of Botany ASCR supported by CNRS (PICS INEE ‘Tracking carbon exchanges in mycorrhizal networks’). The authors thank Rolf Nestby for help during field sampling in Norway; Jesse J. Sadowsky for help with isolation of the Sebacinales sp. JPK 132 isolate; Yi Ding, Kingsley Dixon, Libor Mrnka, Belinda Newman, Nigel Swarts, and Alga Zuccaro for kindly sharing serendipitoid isolates; two anonymous referees for helpful suggestions; David Marsh for English corrections; and Jiří Machač for assembling the figures.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Vohník
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matěj Pánek
    • 3
    • 4
  • Judith Fehrer
    • 5
  • Marc-André Selosse
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Mycorrhizal SymbiosesInstitute of Botany ASCRPrůhoniceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Experimental Plant Biology, Faculty of ScienceCharles University in PraguePragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Forest Ecology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood TechnologyMendel University of Agriculture and Forestry in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.Crop Research InstitutePrahaCzech Republic
  5. 5.DNA LaboratoryInstitute of Botany ASCRPrůhoniceCzech Republic
  6. 6.Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité, Muséum National d’Histoire NaturelleSorbonne UniversitésParisFrance
  7. 7.Department of Plant Taxonomy and Nature ConservationUniversity of GdanskGdanskPoland

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