Winther, Jennifer , Friedman, William E. .
Mycoheterotrophic Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbioses in Ferns and Lycopods.
Nearly all vascular plants have mutualistic arbuscular mycorrhizal symbioses where the plant host gains access to essential mineral nutrients through the fungus and the fungal symbiont acquires fixed carbon from the plant. However, very little is known about the ecology and evolution of fungal symbionts that form mycoheterotrophic AM associations with diverse lineages of non-photosynthetic vascular plants. Using fungal-specific DNA amplification of 18S and ITS ribosomal DNA, we have identified the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal symbionts in a phylogenetically and ecologically diverse set of ferns and lycopods whose life cycles are characterized by a long-lived subterranean gametophyte phase. We show that the Glomus taxa found in the mycoheterotrophic life cycles phases of Botrychium, Psilotum, and Huperzia are also found in conspecific and heterospecific photosynthetic neighboring plants. From our DNA sequence data we infer carbon flow from photosynthetic plants to mycoheterotrophic plants through shared glomalean fungal networks. Finally, our phylogenetic analyses reveal several Glomus clades that form associations with mycoheterotrophic vascular plants.
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1 - University of Colorado, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCB 334, Boulder, Colorado, 80309, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Lake Michigan/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 11:30 AM