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The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus geosporum in European saline, sodic and gypsum soils


Plants of saline and sodic soils of the Hungarian steppe and of gypsum rock in the German Harz mountains, thus soils of high ionic strength and electric conductivity, were examined for their colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). Roots of several plants of the saline and sodic soils such as Artemisia maritima, Aster tripolium or Plantago maritima are strongly colonized and show typical AMF structures (arbuscules, vesicles) whereas others like the members of the Chenopodiaceae, Salicornia europaea, Suaeda maritima or Camphorosma annua, are not. The vegetation of the gypsum rock is totally different, but several plants are also strongly colonized there. The number of spores in samples from the saline and sodic soils examined is rather variable, but high on average, although with an apparent low species diversity. Spore numbers in the soil adjacent to the roots of plants often, but not always, correlate with the degree of AMF colonization of the plants. As in German salt marshes [Hildebrandt et al. (2001)], the dominant AMF in the Hungarian saline and sodic soils is Glomus geosporum. All these isolates provided nearly identical restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of spore DNA amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Cloning and sequencing of several PCR products of the ITS regions indicated that ecotypes of the G. geosporum/Glomus caledonium clade might exist at the different habitats. A phylogenetic dendrogram constructed from the ITS or 5.8S rDNA sequences was nearly identical to the one published for 18S rDNA data (Schwarzott et al. 2001). It is tempting to speculate that specific ecotypes may be particularly adapted to the peculiar saline or sodic conditions in such soils. They could have an enormous potential in conferring salt resistance to plants.

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Landwehr, M., Hildebrandt, U., Wilde, P. et al. The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus geosporum in European saline, sodic and gypsum soils. Mycorrhiza 12, 199–211 (2002).

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  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Halophytes Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis Salt resistance Glomus geosporum