Positive association between mycorrhiza and foliar endophytes in Poa bonariensis, a native grass
The interaction between mycorrhiza and leaf endophytes (Neotyphodium sp.) was studied in three Poa bonariensis populations, a native grass, differing significantly in endophyte infection. The association between endophytes and mycorrhizal fungi colonisation was assessed by analysing plant roots collected from the field. We found that roots from endophyte-infected populations showed a significantly higher frequency of colonisation by mycorrhizal fungi and that soil parameters were not related to endophyte infection or mycorrhiza colonization. In addition, we did not observe significant differences in the number of AM propagules in soils of the three populations sites. We also report the simultaneous development of Paris-type and Arum-type mycorrhiza morphology within the same root systems of P. bonariensis. The co-occurrence of both colonisation types in one and the same root system found in the three populations, which differed in Neotyphodium infection, suggests that foliar endophytes do not determine AM morphology. The percentage of root length colonised by different types of fungal structures (coils, arbuscules, longitudinal hyphae and vesicles) showed significant and positive differences in arbuscular frequency associated with endophyte infection, whereas the much smaller amounts of vesicles and hyphal coils did not differ significantly.