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Plant and Soil

, Volume 401, Issue 1–2, pp 291–305 | Cite as

Shoot specific fungal endophytes alter soil phosphorus (P) fractions and potential acid phosphatase activity but do not increase P uptake in tall fescue

  • Na Ding
  • Haichao Guo
  • Joseph V. Kupper
  • David H. McNearJr.
Regular Article

Abstract

Aims

An experiment was performed to test how different fungal endophyte strains influenced tall fescue’s ability to access P from four P sources varying in solubility.

Methods

Novel endophyte infected (AR542E+ or AR584E+), common toxic endophyte infected (CTE+), or endophyte-free (E-) tall fescues were grown for 90 days in acidic soils amended with 30 mg kg−1 P of potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KH2PO4), iron phosphate (FePO4), aluminum phosphate (AlPO4), or tricalcium phosphate ((Ca3(PO4)2), respectively.

Results

Phosphorus form strongly influenced plant biomass, P acquisition, agronomic P use efficiency, microbial communities, P fractions. P uptake and vegetative biomass were similar for plants grown with AlPO4, Ca3(PO4)2, and KH2PO4 but greater than in control and FePO4 soils. Infection with AR542E+ resulted in significantly less shoot biomass than CTE+ and E- varieties; there was no influence of endophyte on root biomass. The biomarker for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AM fungi, 16:1ω5c) was selected as an effective predictor of variations in P uptake and tall fescue biomass. Potential acid phosphatase activity was strongly influenced by endophyte x P form interaction.

Conclusions

Endophyte infection in tall fescue significantly affected the NaOH-extractable inorganic P fraction, but had little detectable influence on soil microbial community structure, root biomass, or P uptake.

Keywords

Neotyphodium coenophialum Epichloë coenophiala Microbial community Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) Phosphorus fractions Potential acid phosphatase activity (AcPase) 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Dr. Mark S. Coyne for helpful comments on this manuscript. We also thank collaborators at the Noble Foundation for providing the seed gifts. This work was financially supported by National Research Initiative no. 2011-67019-30392 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Supplementary material

11104_2015_2757_MOESM1_ESM.docx (30 kb)
Fig. S1 The influence of endophyte x P form interaction on P concentrations in root tissues. Means not sharing the same letter are significantly different (p < 0.05), Bar represents ± the standard error of the mean. (DOCX 30 kb)
11104_2015_2757_MOESM2_ESM.docx (99 kb)
Fig. S2 Two-dimensional solution of nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS) plot using the relative abundance of PLFA biomarker groups in rhizosphere soils under tall fescue (E-, CTE+, AR542E+ and AR584E+) from the control (No-P) treatment and those receiving treatment with four P sources [(a) K-Ps, (b) Fe-Ps, (c) Al-Ps, (d) Ca-Ps], individually. Radiating lines from the ordination centroid indicate the strength and direction of Pearson correlations (r2 > 0.4) between variables and stand axis scores. Actino = actinobacteria, EU = eukaryote, TMB = total microbial biomass (DOCX 99 kb)
11104_2015_2757_MOESM3_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Table S1 Concentration of PLFA biomarker groups and total microbial biomass (TMB; nmol•g-1 soil) in pre-planted (14 days after P addition before planting tall fescue), and rhizosphere soils after 90-days of tall fescue growth in control soils and those receiving 30 mg•kg-1 of four P forms (K-Ps, Fe-Ps, Al-Ps, Ca-Ps). Results from linear contrasts comparing microbial parameters in rhizosphere vs. pre-planted soils appear in the bottom portion of the table. (DOCX 13 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Na Ding
    • 1
  • Haichao Guo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joseph V. Kupper
    • 1
  • David H. McNearJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Rhizosphere Science Laboratory, Department of Plant and Soil ScienceUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Horticultural Sciences DepartmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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