Department of Biology
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Browsing Department of Biology by Subject "Dark septate endophytes"
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- ItemColonization of green roof plants by mycorrhizal and root endophytic fungi(Ecological Engineering (Elsevier), 2014-10) John, Jesse; Lundholm, Jeremy; Kernaghan, GavinGreen roof plants must survive hot and dry conditions in low nutrient artificial growing media. Although soil microorganisms such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can ameliorate these constraints by increasing water and mineral uptake, virtually nothing is known about the microbes associated with the roots of green roof plants. We determined levels of AMF and dark septate endophyte (DSE) colonization of plants grown for four years on an experimental green roof in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Green roof plant species included the forb Solidago bicolor, the grasses Danthonia spicata and Poa compressa and the succulent Sedum acre. We also assessed root colonization of these same species, as well as three additional succulents (Sedum spurium, Rhodiola rosea and Hylotelephium telephium), collected from their natural habitats. We further assessed the inoculum potential of a commercial green roof substrate before and after the introduction of host plants. Levels of AMF colonization were similar within plant species, regardless of collecting location (roof or field). All plant species were colonized except for the succulent S. acre, which is commonly utilized as a green roof plant. The commercial growing medium contained extremely low levels of viable AMF propagules, but this increased significantly after planting with Solidago. Conversely, all species (from roof, field and bioassay) were well colonized by DSE, which appear to differ from the AMF with respect to their pattern of dispersal onto the green roof. Although the widespread use of non-mycorrhizal succulent species such as S. acre precludes the ecosystem services provided by the AMF symbiosis, the benefits of both succulent tissue and AMF could be obtained simultaneously with careful green roof plant selection.
- ItemDiversity and host preference of fungi co-inhabiting Cenococcum mycorrhizae(Fungal Ecology (Elsevier), 2015-10) Kernaghan, Gavin; Patriquin, GlennDiverse fungal assemblages colonize the fine feeder roots of woody plants, including mycorrhizal fungi, fungal root endophytes and soil saprotrophs. The fungi co-inhabiting Cenococcum geophilum ectomycorrhizae (ECM) of Abies balsamea, Betula papyrifera and Picea glauca were studied at two boreal forest sites in Eastern Canada by direct PCR of ITS rDNA. 50 non-Cenococcum fungal sequence types were detected, including several potentially mycorrhizal species as well as fungal root endophytes. Non-melanized ascomycetes dominated, in contrast to the dark septate endophytes (DSE) reported in most culture dependent studies. The results demonstrate significant differences in root associated fungal assemblages among the host species studied. Fungal diversity was also host dependent, with P. glauca roots supporting a more diverse community than A. balsamea. Differences in root associated fungal communities may well influence ecological interactions among host plant species.
- ItemThe effects of fungal root endophytes on plant growth: a meta-analysis(Mycorrhiza (Springer), 2012-07) Mayerhofer, Michael; Kernaghan, Gavin; Harper, Karen A.Fungal root endophytes are plant associates that colonize root tissue internally without causing any obvious harm to their host. Although ubiquitous, this relationship is not well understood. Our objectives were to determine the effects of fungal root endophyte inoculation on plant biomass and nitrogen concentration by conducting an extensive meta-analysis. We also explored the effects of experimental conditions on the host–endophyte relationship. We performed analyses weighted with non-parametric variance on plant response to root endophytes from the Ascomycetes (excluding the Clavacipitaceae), including categorical analyses of 21 experimental factors, ranging from the identity of the host and the endophyte, to the composition of the growing medium. The response of total biomass to endophyte inoculation was 18 % lower than non-inoculated controls, while individually, root biomass, shoot biomass, and nitrogen concentration responses to endophyte inoculation were neutral. The identities of both the host and the endophyte had an influence, as did the original source of the endophyte (whether or not the isolate used originated from the same host species). Experimental conditions also influenced the plant–endophyte relationship, with the most important being the availability and sources of carbon and organic nitrogen, particularly peat moss. Although our analysis demonstrates that overall plant biomass and nitrogen concentration responses to ascomycetous root endophyte inoculation is neutral to negative, these results are somewhat confounded by among-study differences in experimental conditions, which undoubtedly contribute to the high levels of variability in plant response seen in the literature.