Formation of external hyphae in soil by four species of vesicular‐arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

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Abstract

The ability of several species of vesicular–arbuscular (VA) mycorrhizal fungi to form hyphae in soil was compared in two glasshouse experiments. We measured the length of hyphae in soil and related this to the length of infected root. Species of VA mycorrhizal fungi differed in the length of external hyphae produced per cm of infected root. Glomus fasciculatum (Thaxter sensu Gerd.) Gerd. and Trappe produced less external hyphae per cm infected root than did Gigaspora calospora (Nicol. and Gerd.) Gerd. at all harvest times and when inoculum was either placed in a band below the seed or mixed throughout the soil. Glomus tenue (Greenall) Hall and Acaulospora laevis Gerd. and Trappe both produced similar lengths of external hyphae per cm infected root to that formed by G. calospora. Differences among isolates of VA mycorrhizal fungi in the distribution of hyphae in soil may be as important as differences in the length of external hyphae when selecting fungi that are effective at increasing nutrient uptake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-255
Number of pages11
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume99
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1985

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