Soil, but not cultivar, shapes the structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal assemblages associated with strawberry.

Microbial ecology

PubMedID: 21373814

Santos-González JC, Nallanchakravarthula S, Alström S, Finlay RD. Soil, but not cultivar, shapes the structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal assemblages associated with strawberry. Microb Ecol. 2011;62(1):25-35.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are widespread plant symbionts occurring in most agricultural crops, where they can play key roles in the growth and health of their plant hosts. Plant benefits can depend on the identity of the associated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), but little is known about the identity of the fungal partners in most agricultural systems. In this study, we describe the AMF assemblages associated with four cultivars of strawberry in an outdoor experiment using two field soils with different origin and management history. Assemblages were characterised by clone library sequencing of 18S rRNA gene fragments. Soil dramatically influenced the degree of mycorrhizal colonisation and AMF assemblage structure in the roots. No differences were observed between cultivars. Fungi belonging to the genus Acaulospora dominated the AMF assemblages in one soil, but they were not detected in the other. These results suggest that physicochemical soil characteristics and management can play a role in determining the identity and structure of microbial communities associated with particular hosts in agricultural systems.