Mycorrhizal symbiosis between plants and fungi is ubiquitous, and has been played key roles in plant terrestrialization and diversification. Although arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses with Glomeromycotina fungi have long been recognized as both ancient and widespread symbionts, recent studies showed that Mucoromycotina fungi were also ancestral symbionts and would thus be expected to co-exist with many land plants. To explore whether Mucoromycotina colonize fern gametophytes, we subjected fungal associations with gametophytes of two distantly related ferns, Angiopteris lygodiifolia (Marattiales) and Osmunda japonica (Osmundales), to molecular analysis. Direct PCR amplification from intracellular hyphal coils was also performed. We detected Mucoromycotina sequences in the gametophytes of A. lygodiifolia and O. japonica at rates of 41% (7/17) and 50% (49/98) of gametophytes, respectively, and assigned them to 10 operational taxonomic units of Endogonales lineages. In addition, we used AM fungal-specific primers and detected Glomeromycotina sequences in all individuals examined. The results suggest that Glomeromycotina and Mucoromycotina colonized fern gametophytes simultaneously. We found that Mucoromycotina were present in fern gametophytes of Marratiales and Osmundales, which implies that a variety of fern taxa have Mucoromycotina associations.
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The authors thank K. Hashimoto, A. Sakoda, and A. Suzuki for collecting samples and for their technical assistance. We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their comments on the manuscript. This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grants 17K07536 and 18K06391.
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Ogura-Tsujita, Y., Yamamoto, K., Hirayama, Y. et al. Fern gametophytes of Angiopteris lygodiifolia and Osmunda japonica harbor diverse Mucoromycotina fungi. J Plant Res 132, 581–588 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10265-019-01121-x
- Arbuscular mycorrhiza
- Fine root endophyte
- Mycorrhizal association