Suppression of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal activity in a diverse collection of non-cultivated soils

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Most plants form symbiotic associations with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). AMF increase the uptake of plant nutrients by extending their extra-radical mycelium (ERM) in the soil where other groups of microorganisms may suppress the activity of the ERM. However, little is known about such suppression in natural soils. This work aimed to investigate the incidence of AMF suppression among soils sampled from highly variable natural ecosystems, and used 33 P uptake by the ERM to evaluate AMF activity. A second aim was to identify factors behind the observed AMF-suppression. We found that AMF-suppressiveness varied markedly among natural soils and occurred more frequently in low pH than in high pH soils. A previous study for cultivated soils revealed a strong biological component of suppressiveness against AMF, and in accordance we found that the composition of both fungal and bacterial communities differed significantly between AMF-suppressive and non-suppressive natural soils. Acidobacteria, Acidothermus, Xanthomonadaceae, Archaeorhizomyces sp., Mortierella humilis and some Mycena spp. were significantly more abundant in AMF-suppressive soils and may therefore be direct antagonists of AMF. This implies that the functioning of AMF in natural ecosystems is strongly modulated by specific soil microbes.

TidsskriftFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)1-10
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2019

ID: 217994456