Plant and Soil

, Volume 403, Issue 1–2, pp 253–265 | Cite as

Arbuscular mycorrhizal community structure on co-existing tropical legume trees in French Guiana

  • Francis Q. Brearley
  • David R. Elliott
  • Amaia Iribar
  • Robin Sen
Regular Article



We aimed to characterise the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) community structure and potential edaphic determinants in the dominating, but poorly described, root-colonizing Paris-type AMF community on co-occurring Amazonian leguminous trees.


Three highly productive leguminous trees (Dicorynia guianensis, Eperua falcata and Tachigali melinonii were targeted) in species-rich forests on contrasting soil types at the Nouragues Research Station in central French Guiana. Abundant AMF SSU rRNA amplicons (NS31-AM1 & AML1-AML2 primers) from roots identified via trnL profiling were subjected to denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), clone library sequencing and phylogenetic analysis.


Classical approaches targeting abundant SSU amplicons highlighted a diverse root-colonizing symbiotic AMF community dominated by members of the Glomeraceae. DGGE profiling indicated that, of the edaphic factors investigated, soil nitrogen was most important in influencing the AMF community and this was more important than any host tree species effect.


Dominating Paris-type mycorrhizal leguminous trees in Amazonian soils host diverse and novel taxa within the Glomeraceae that appear under edaphic selection in the investigated tropical forests. Linking symbiotic diversity of identified AMF taxa to ecological processes is the next challenge ahead.


Mycorrhiza Paris-type mycorrhizas Tropical forest Soil SSU TrnLegumes Trees 



We thank Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique for managing the Nouragues Research Station and funding this study through Project Amazonie and Manchester Metropolitan University for providing a research assistantship to DRE. We are very grateful to Jérôme Chave for his support of this project and Philippe Gaucher and Patrick Châtelet who were of great help during fieldtrip preparation and sampling. Maarja Öpik provided advice on AMF phylogeny and Stavros Veresoglou, John Davison and anonymous reviewers are thanked for their comments on the manuscript. This project was also partly funded from “Investissement d’Avenir” grants managed by Agence Nationale de la Recherche (CEBA: ANR-10-LABX-25-01 and ANAEE-France: ANR-11-INBS-0001).

Author contributions

Designed the study and obtained funding: FQB & RS; performed the study: FQB, DRE & AI; analysed the data: DRE & FQB; wrote the manuscript: FQB, RS & DRE.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis Q. Brearley
    • 1
  • David R. Elliott
    • 1
    • 2
  • Amaia Iribar
    • 3
  • Robin Sen
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Science and the EnvironmentManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK
  2. 2.Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, College of Life and Natural SciencesUniversity of DerbyDerby,UK
  3. 3.Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique, UMR 5174, CNRSUniversity Toulouse IIIToulouseFrance

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