Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizas are widespread in land plants including liverworts, some of the closest living relatives of the first plants to colonize land 500 million years ago (MYA). Previous investigations reported near-exclusive colonization of liverworts by the most recently evolved arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, the Glomeraceae, indicating a recent acquisition from flowering plants at odds with the widely held notion that arbuscular mycorrhizal-like associations in liverworts represent the ancestral symbiotic condition in land plants. We performed an analysis of symbiotic fungi in 674 globally collected liverworts using molecular phylogenetics and electron microscopy. Here, we show every order of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonizes early-diverging liverworts, with non-Glomeraceae being at least 10 times more common than in flowering plants. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in liverworts and other ancient plant lineages (hornworts, lycopods, and ferns) were delimited into 58 taxa and 36 singletons, of which at least 43 are novel and specific to liverworts. The discovery that early plant lineages are colonized by early-diverging fungi supports the hypothesis that arbuscular mycorrhizas are an ancestral symbiosis for all land plants.
Project description:Most organisms are built from a single genome. In striking contrast, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi appear to maintain genomic variation within an individual fungal network. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi dwell in the soil, form mutualistic networks with plants, and bear multiple, potentially genetically diverse nuclei within a network. We explore, from a theoretical perspective, why such genetic diversity might be maintained within individuals. We consider selection acting within and between individual fungal networks. We show that genetic diversity could provide a benefit at the level of the individual, by improving growth in variable environments, and that this can stabilize genetic diversity even in the presence of nuclear conflict. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi complicate our understanding of organismality, but our findings offer a way of understanding such biological anomalies.
Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal symbioses are among the most important drivers of terrestrial ecosystem dynamics. Historically, the two types of symbioses have been investigated separately because arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal plant species are considered to host discrete sets of fungal symbionts (i.e., arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal fungi, respectively). Nonetheless, recent studies based on high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies have suggested that diverse non-mycorrhizal fungi (e.g., endophytic fungi) with broad host ranges play roles in relationships between arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal plant species in forest ecosystems. By analyzing an Illumina sequencing dataset of root-associated fungi in a temperate forest in Japan, we statistically examined whether co-occurring arbuscular mycorrhizal (Chamaecyparis obtusa) and ectomycorrhizal (Pinus densiflora) plant species could share non-mycorrhizal fungal communities. Among the 919 fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) detected, OTUs in various taxonomic lineages were statistically designated as "generalists," which associated commonly with both coniferous species. The list of the generalists included fungi in the genera Meliniomyces, Oidiodendron, Cladophialophora, Rhizodermea, Penicillium, and Mortierella. Meanwhile, our statistical analysis also detected fungi preferentially associated with Chamaecyparis (e.g., Pezicula) or Pinus (e.g., Neolecta). Overall, this study provides a basis for future studies on how arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal plant species interactively drive community- or ecosystem-scale processes. The physiological functions of the fungi highlighted in our host-preference analysis deserve intensive investigations for understanding their roles in plant endosphere and rhizosphere.
Project description:Loss of barley Mildew Resistance Locus O (MLO) is known to confer durable and robust resistance to powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis), a biotrophic fungal leaf pathogen. Based on the increased expression of MLO in mycorrhizal roots and its presence in a clade of the MLO family that is specific to mycorrhizal-host species, we investigated the potential role of MLO in arbuscular mycorrhizal interactions. Using mutants from barley (Hordeum vulgare), wheat (Triticum aestivum), and Medicago truncatula, we demonstrate a role for MLO in colonization by the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Rhizophagus irregularis. Early mycorrhizal colonization was reduced in mlo mutants of barley, wheat, and M. truncatula, and this was accompanied by a pronounced decrease in the expression of many of the key genes required for intracellular accommodation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. These findings show that clade IV MLOs are involved in the establishment of symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi, a role that has been appropriated by powdery mildew.
Project description:Plants influence their soil environment, which affects the next generation of seedlings that can be established. While research has shown that such plant-soil feedbacks occur in the presence of mycorrhizal fungi, it remains unclear when and how mycorrhizal fungi mediate the direction and strength of feedbacks in tree communities. Here we show that arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal fungal guilds mediate plant-soil feedbacks differently to influence large-scale patterns such as tree species coexistence and succession. When seedlings are grown under the same mycorrhizal type forest, arbuscular mycorrhizal plant species exhibit negative or neutral feedbacks and ectomycorrhizal plant species do neutral or positive feedbacks. In contrast, positive and neutral feedbacks dominate when seedlings are grown in associations within the same versus different mycorrhizal types. Thus, ectomycorrhizal communities show more positive feedbacks than arbuscular mycorrhizal communities, potentially explaining why most temperate forests are ectomycorrhizal.
Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are among the most ubiquitous soil plant-symbiotic fungi in terrestrial environments and can alleviate the toxic effects of various contaminants on plants. As an essential micronutrient for higher plants, molybdenum (Mo) can cause toxic effects at excess levels. However, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal impacts on plant performance and Mo accumulation under Mo-contamination still require to be explored. We first studied the effects of Claroideoglomus etunicatum BEG168 on plant biomass production and Mo accumulation in a biofuel crop, sweet sorghum, grown in an agricultural soil spiked with different concentrations of MoS2. The results showed that the addition of Mo produced no adverse effects on plant biomass, N and P uptake, and root colonization rate, indicating Mo has no phytotoxicity and fungitoxicity at the test concentrations. The addition of Mo did not increase and even decreased S concentrations in plant tissues. Arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation significantly enhanced plant biomass production and Mo concentrations in both shoots and roots, resulting in increased Mo uptake by mycorrhizal plants. Overall, arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation promoted the absorption of P, N and S by sweet sorghum plants, improved photosystem (PS) II photochemical efficiency and comprehensive photosynthesis performance. In conclusion, MoS2 increased Mo accumulation in plant tissues but produced no toxicity, while arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation could improve plant performance via enhancing nutrient uptake and photochemical efficiency. Sweet sorghum, together with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, shows a promising potential for phytoremediation of Mo-contaminated farmland and revegetation of Mo-mine disturbed areas, as well as biomass production on such sites.
Project description:Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are essential elements of soil fertility, plant nutrition and productivity, facilitating soil mineral nutrient uptake. Helianthus annuus is a non-model, widely cultivated species. Here we used an RNA-seq approach for evaluating gene expression variation at early and late stages of mycorrhizal establishment in sunflower roots colonized by the arbuscular fungus Rhizoglomus irregulare. mRNA was isolated from roots of plantlets at 4 and 16 days after inoculation with the fungus. cDNA libraries were built and sequenced with Illumina technology. Differential expression analysis was performed between control and inoculated plants. Overall 726 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between inoculated and control plants were retrieved. The number of up-regulated DEGs greatly exceeded the number of down-regulated DEGs and this difference increased in later stages of colonization. Several DEGs were specifically involved in known mycorrhizal processes, such as membrane transport, cell wall shaping, and other. We also found previously unidentified mycorrhizal-induced transcripts. The most important DEGs were carefully described in order to hypothesize their roles in AM symbiosis. Our data add a valuable contribution for deciphering biological processes related to beneficial fungi and plant symbiosis, adding an Asteraceae, non-model species for future comparative functional genomics studies.
Project description:Learning more about the biodiversity and composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) under alternative agricultural management scenarios may be important to the sustainable intensification of switchgrass grown as a bioenergy crop. Using PacBio single-molecule sequencing and taxonomic resolution to the level of amplicon sequence variant (ASV), we assessed the effects of nitrogen amendment on AMF associating with switchgrass and explored relationships between AMF and switchgrass yield across three sites of various productivities in Wisconsin. Nitrogen amendment had little effect on AMF diversity metrics or community composition. While AMF ASV diversity was not correlated with switchgrass yield, AMF family richness and switchgrass yield had a strong, positive relationship at one of our three sites. Each of our sites was dominated by unique ASVs of the species Paraglomus brasilianum, indicating regional segregation of AMF at the intraspecific level. Our molecular biodiversity survey identified putative core members of the switchgrass microbiome, as well as novel clades of AMF, especially in the order Paraglomerales and the genus Nanoglomus Furthermore, our phylogenies unite the cosmopolitan, soil-inhabiting clade deemed GS24 with Pervetustaceae, an enigmatic family prevalent in stressful environments. Future studies should isolate and characterize the novel genetic diversity found in switchgrass agroecosystems and explore the potential yield benefits of AMF richness.IMPORTANCE We assessed the different species of beneficial fungi living in agricultural fields of switchgrass, a large grass grown for biofuels, using high-resolution DNA sequencing. Contrary to our expectations, the fungi were not greatly affected by fertilization. However, we found a positive relationship between plant productivity and the number of families of beneficial fungi at one site. Furthermore, we sequenced many species that could not be identified with existing reference databases. One group of fungi was highlighted in an earlier study for being widely distributed but of unknown taxonomy. We discovered that this group belonged to a family called Pervetustaceae, which may benefit switchgrass in stressful environments. To produce higher-yielding switchgrass in a more sustainable manner, it could help to study these undescribed fungi and the ways in which they may contribute to greater switchgrass yield in the absence of fertilization.
Project description:Arachnitis uniflora is a mycoheterotrophic plant that exploits arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of neighbouring plants. We tested A. uniflora 's specificity towards fungi across its large latitudinal range, as well as the role of historical events and current environmental, geographical and altitudinal variables on fungal genetic diversity.Arachnitis uniflora mycorrhizas were sampled at 25 sites. Fungal phylogenetic relationships were reconstructed, genetic diversity was calculated and the main divergent lineages were dated. Phylogeographical analysis was performed with the main fungal clade. Fungal diversity correlations with environmental factors were investigated.Glomeraceae fungi dominated, with a main clade that likely originated in the Upper Cretaceous and diversified in the Miocene. Two other arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal families not previously known to be targeted by A. uniflora were detected rarely and appear to be facultative associations. High genetic diversity, found in Bolivia and both northern and southern Patagonia, was correlated with temperature, rainfall and soil features.Fungal genetic diversity and its distribution can be explained by the ancient evolutionary history of the target fungi and by micro-scale environmental conditions with a geographical mosaic pattern.