High-level molecular diversity of copper-zinc superoxide dismutase genes among and within species of arbuscular Mycorrhizal fungi.
ABSTRACT: In the ecologically important arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), Sod1 encodes a functional polypeptide that confers increased tolerance to oxidative stress and that is upregulated inside the roots during early steps of the symbiosis with host plants. It is still unclear whether its expression is directed at scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by the host, if it plays a role in the fungus-host dialogue, or if it is a consequence of oxidative stress from the surrounding environment. All these possibilities are equally likely, and molecular variation at the Sod1 locus can possibly have adaptive implications for one or all of the three mentioned functions. In this paper, we analyzed the diversity of the Sod1 gene in six AMF species, as well as 14 Glomus intraradices isolates from a single natural population. By sequencing this locus, we identified a large amount of nucleotide and amino acid molecular diversity both among AMF species and individuals, suggesting a rapid divergence of its codons. The Sod1 gene was monomorphic within each isolate we analyzed, and quantitative PCR strongly suggest this locus is present as a single copy in G. intraradices. Maximum-likelihood analyses performed using a variety of models for codon evolution indicated that a number of amino acid sites most likely evolved under the regime of positive selection among AMF species. In addition, we found that some isolates of G. intraradices from a natural population harbor very divergent orthologous Sod1 sequences, and our analysis suggested that diversifying selection, rather than recombination, was responsible for the persistence of this molecular diversity within the AMF population.
Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are ecologically important root symbionts of most terrestrial plants. Ecological studies of AMF have concentrated on differences between species; largely assuming little variability within AMF species. Although AMF are clonal, they have evolved to contain a surprisingly high within-species genetic variability, and genetically different nuclei can coexist within individual spores. These traits could potentially lead to within-population genetic variation, causing differences in physiology and symbiotic function in AMF populations, a consequence that has been largely neglected. We found highly significant genetic and phenotypic variation among isolates of a population of Glomus intraradices but relatively low total observed genetic diversity. Because we maintained the isolated population in a constant environment, phenotypic variation can be considered as variation in quantitative genetic traits. In view of the large genetic differences among isolates by randomly sampling two individual spores, <50% of the total observed population genetic diversity is represented. Adding an isolate from a distant population did not increase total observed genetic diversity. Genetic variation exceeded variation in quantitative genetic traits, indicating that selection acted on the population to retain similar traits, which might be because of the multigenomic nature of AMF, where considerable genetic redundancy could buffer the effects of changes in the genetic content of phenotypic traits. These results have direct implications for ecological research and for studying AMF genes, improving commercial AMF inoculum, and understanding evolutionary mechanisms in multigenomic organisms.
Project description:In this study, we have analyzed and compared the diversities of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) colonizing the roots of five annual herbaceous species (Hieracium vulgare, Stipa capensis, Anagallis arvensis, Carduus tenuiflorus, and Avena barbata) and a perennial herbaceous species (Brachypodium retusum). Our goal was to determine the differences in the communities of the AMF among these six plant species belonging to different families, using B. retusum as a reference. The AMF small-subunit rRNA genes (SSU) were subjected to nested PCR, cloning, sequencing, and phylogenetic analysis. Thirty-six AMF phylotypes, belonging to Glomus group A, Glomus group B, Diversispora, Paraglomus, and Ambispora, were identified. Five sequence groups identified in this study clustered to known glomalean species or isolates: group Glomus G27 to Glomus intraradices, group Glomus G19 to Glomus iranicum, group Glomus G10 to Glomus mosseae, group Glomus G1 to Glomus lamellosum/etunicatum/luteum, and group Ambispora 1 to Ambispora fennica. The six plant species studied hosted different AMF communities. A certain trend of AMF specificity was observed when grouping plant species by taxonomic families, highlighting the importance of protecting and even promoting the native annual vegetation in order to maintain the biodiversity and productivity of these extreme ecosystems.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are known for their beneficial effects on plants. However, there is increasing evidence that some ruderal plants, including several agricultural weeds, respond negatively to AMF colonization. Here, we investigated the effect of AMF on the growth of individual weed species and on weed-crop interactions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: First, under controlled glasshouse conditions, we screened growth responses of nine weed species and three crops to a widespread AMF, Glomus intraradices. None of the weeds screened showed a significant positive mycorrhizal growth response and four weed species were significantly reduced by the AMF (growth responses between -22 and -35%). In a subsequent experiment, we selected three of the negatively responding weed species--Echinochloa crus-galli, Setaria viridis and Solanum nigrum--and analyzed their responses to a combination of three AMF (Glomus intraradices, Glomus mosseae and Glomus claroideum). Finally, we tested whether the presence of a crop (maize) enhanced the suppressive effect of AMF on weeds. We found that the growth of the three selected weed species was also reduced by a combination of AMF and that the presence of maize amplified the negative effect of AMF on the growth of E. crus-galli. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show that AMF can negatively influence the growth of some weed species indicating that AMF have the potential to act as determinants of weed community structure. Furthermore, mycorrhizal weed growth reductions can be amplified in the presence of a crop. Previous studies have shown that AMF provide a number of beneficial ecosystem services. Taken together with our current results, the maintenance and promotion of AMF activity may thereby contribute to sustainable management of agroecosystems. However, in order to further the practical and ecological relevance of our findings, additional experiments should be performed under field conditions.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important symbionts of most plant species, promoting plant diversity and productivity. This symbiosis is thought to have contributed to the early colonisation of land by plants. Morphological stasis over 400 million years and the lack of an observed sexual stage in any member of the phylum Glomeromycota led to the controversial suggestion of AMF being ancients asexuals. Evidence for recombination in AMF is contradictory. RESULTS: We addressed the question of recombination in the AMF Glomus intraradices by sequencing 11 polymorphic nuclear loci in 40 morphologically identical isolates from one field. Phylogenetic relationships among genotypes showed a reticulate network pattern providing a rationale to test for recombination. Five statistical tests predicted multiple recombinant regions in the genome of a core set of isolates. In contrast, five clonal lineages had fixed a large number of differences. CONCLUSION: Our data show that AMF from one field have undergone recombination but that clonal lineages coexist. This finding has important consequences for understanding AMF evolution, co-evolution of AMF and plants and highlights the potential for commercially introduced AMF inoculum recombining with existing local populations. Finally, our results reconcile seemingly contradictory studies on whether AMF are clonal or form recombining populations.
Project description:The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are a key, integral component of the stability, sustainability and functioning of ecosystems. In this study, we characterised the AMF biodiversity in a native vegetation soil and in a soil cultivated with Jatropha curcas or Ricinus communis, in a tropical system in Guantanamo (Cuba), in order to verify if a change of land use to biofuel plant production had any effect on the AMF communities. We also asses whether some soil properties related with the soil fertility (total N, Organic C, microbial biomass C, aggregate stability percentage, pH and electrical conductivity) were changed with the cultivation of both crop species. The AM fungal small sub-unit (SSU) rRNA genes were subjected to PCR, cloning, sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. Twenty AM fungal sequence types were identified: 19 belong to the Glomeraceae and one to the Paraglomeraceae. Two AMF sequence types related to cultured AMF species (Glo G3 for Glomus sinuosum and Glo G6 for Glomus intraradices-G. fasciculatum-G. irregulare) did not occur in the soil cultivated with J. curcas and R. communis. The soil properties (total N, Organic C and microbial biomass C) were higher in the soil cultivated with the two plant species. The diversity of the AMF community decreased in the soil of both crops, with respect to the native vegetation soil, and varied significantly depending on the crop species planted. Thus, R. communis soil showed higher AMF diversity than J. curcas soil. In conclusion, R. communis could be more suitable for the long-term conservation and sustainable management of these tropical ecosytems.
Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are obligate biotrophs, known to play an important role in ecological processes. Conventional light microscopy is the most common method used to detect their presence in planta, but this method fails to discern the presence of multiple AMF species and is not quantitative. These two factors are critically important in ecological studies, where the symbiotic contribution of each isolate needs to be defined. This paper describes the use of quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) as a detection system to address this issue. We used two Glomus spp., namely, G. intraradices and G. mosseae, to show that it is possible to study the interactions between these two isolates during the cocolonization of a single root system. Three different physiological studies were set up to assess how the interactions affected the occupancy of these fungi intraradically on a temporal basis. These treatments included saline and phosphorus stress, spatial distribution in the root zone, and preference for a particular host. qRT-PCR could prove a valuable tool in the area of AMF field ecology, where such data are critically important for defining the role of each species in the community structure.
Project description:Morphological observation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) species in rhizospheric soil could not accurately reflect the actual AMF colonizing status in roots, while molecular identification of indigenous AMF colonizing citrus rootstocks at present was rare in China. In our study, community of AMF colonizing trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata L. Raf.) and red tangerine (Citrus reticulata Blanco) were analyzed based on small subunit of ribosomal DNA genes. Morphological observation showed that arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonization, spore density, and hyphal length did not differ significantly between two rootstocks. Phylogenetic analysis showed that 173 screened AMF sequences clustered in at least 10 discrete groups (GLO1~GLO10), all belonging to the genus of Glomus Sensu Lato. Among them, GLO1 clade (clustering with uncultured Glomus) accounting for 54.43% clones was the most common in trifoliate orange roots, while GLO6 clade (clustering with Glomus intraradices) accounting for 35.00% clones was the most common in red tangerine roots. Although, Shannon-Wiener indices exhibited no notable differences between both rootstocks, relative proportions of observed clades analysis revealed that composition of AMF communities colonizing two rootstocks varied severely. The results indicated that native AMF species in citrus rhizosphere had diverse colonization potential between two different rootstocks in the present orchards.
Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are obligate symbionts with most terrestrial plants. They improve plant nutrition, particularly phosphate acquisition, and thus are able to improve plant growth. In exchange, the fungi obtain photosynthetically fixed carbon. AMF are coenocytic, meaning that many nuclei coexist in a common cytoplasm. Genetic exchange recently has been demonstrated in the AMF Glomus intraradices, allowing nuclei of different Glomus intraradices strains to mix. Such genetic exchange was shown previously to have negative effects on plant growth and to alter fungal colonization. However, no attempt was made to detect whether genetic exchange in AMF can alter plant gene expression and if this effect was time dependent. Here, we show that genetic exchange in AMF also can be beneficial for rice growth, and that symbiosis-specific gene transcription is altered by genetic exchange. Moreover, our results show that genetic exchange can change the dynamics of the colonization of the fungus in the plant. Our results demonstrate that the simple manipulation of the genetics of AMF can have important consequences for their symbiotic effects on plants such as rice, which is considered the most important crop in the world. Exploiting natural AMF genetic variation by generating novel AMF genotypes through genetic exchange is a potentially useful tool in the development of AMF inocula that are more beneficial for crop growth.
Project description:The main objective of this study was to shed light on the previously unknown arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) communities in Southern Arabia. We explored AMF communities in two date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) plantations and the natural vegetation of their surrounding arid habitats. The plantations were managed traditionally in an oasis and according to conventional guidelines at an experimental station. Based on spore morphotyping, the AMF communities under the date palms appeared to be quite diverse at both plantations and more similar to each other than to the communities under the ruderal plant, Polygala erioptera, growing at the experimental station on the dry strip between the palm trees, and to the communities uncovered under the native vegetation (Zygophyllum hamiense, Salvadora persica, Prosopis cineraria, inter-plant area) of adjacent undisturbed arid habitat. AMF spore abundance and species richness were higher under date palms than under the ruderal and native plants. Sampling in a remote sand dune area under Heliotropium kotschyi yielded only two AMF morphospecies and only after trap culturing. Overall, 25 AMF morphospecies were detected encompassing all study habitats. Eighteen belonged to the genus Glomus including four undescribed species. Glomus sinuosum, a species typically found in undisturbed habitats, was the most frequently occurring morphospecies under the date palms. Using molecular tools, it was also found as a phylogenetic taxon associated with date palm roots. These roots were associated with nine phylogenetic taxa, among them eight from Glomus group A, but the majority could not be assigned to known morphospecies or to environmental sequences in public databases. Some phylogenetic taxa seemed to be site specific. Despite the use of group-specific primers and efficient trapping systems with a bait plant consortium, surprisingly, two of the globally most frequently found species, Glomus intraradices and Glomus mosseae, were not detected neither as phylogenetic taxa in the date palm roots nor as spores under the date palms, the intermediate ruderal plant, or the surrounding natural vegetation. The results highlight the uniqueness of AMF communities inhabiting these diverse habitats exposed to the harsh climatic conditions of Southern Arabia.
Project description:Physcomitrella patens gametophores were treated with exudates from the arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) Rhizophagus irregularis (formerly known as Glomus intraradices) and Gigaspora margerita for one hour and 24 hours.