Ecto- and arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis can induce tolerance to toxic pulses of phosphorus in jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) seedlings

Khalil Kariman, Susan Barker, Patrick Finnegan, Mark Tibbett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


In common with many plants native to low P soils, jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) develops toxicity symptoms upon exposure to elevated phosphorus (P). Jarrah plants can establish arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (ECM) associations, along with a non-colonizing symbiosis described recently. AM colonization is known to influence the pattern of expression of genes required for P uptake of host plants and our aim was to investigate this phenomenon in relation to P sensitivity. Therefore, we examined the effect on hosts of the presence of AM and ECM fungi in combination with toxic pulses of P and assessed possible correlations between the induced tolerance and the shoot P concentration. The P transport dynamics of AM (Rhizophagus irregularis and Scutellospora calospora), ECM (Scleroderma sp.), non-colonizing symbiosis (Austroboletus occidentalis), dual mycorrhizal (R. irregularis and Scleroderma sp.), and non-mycorrhizal (NM) seedlings were monitored following two pulses of P. The ECM and A. occidentalis associations significantly enhanced the shoot P content of jarrah plants growing under P-deficient conditions. In addition, S. calospora, A. occidentalis, and Scleroderma sp. all stimulated plant growth significantly. All inoculated plants had significantly lower phytotoxicity symptoms compared to NM controls 7 days after addition of an elevated P dose (30 mg P kg(-1) soil). Following exposure to toxicity-inducing levels of P, the shoot P concentration was significantly lower in R. irregularis-inoculated and dually inoculated plants compared to NM controls. Although all inoculated plants had reduced toxicity symptoms and there was a positive linear relationship between rank and shoot P concentration, the protective effect was not necessarily explained by the type of fungal association or the extent of mycorrhizal colonization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-509
Number of pages9
Issue number7
Early online date2 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


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