Angiosperm Gymnostoma trees produce root nodules colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi related to Glomus


Author for correspondence: E. Duhoux Tel: +33 (0) 4 67 41 62 02 Fax: +33 (0) 4 67 41 62 22 Email:


  • • Structure and fungal composition is presented here for ‘mycorrhizal’ nodules of two angiosperms of the genus Gymnostoma (Casuarinaceae), G. deplancheanum and G. nodiflorum. These species are endemic to New Caledonia, where they grow on ultramafic soils. The mycorrhizal nodules, which are modified lateral roots invaded by an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, occur in addition to N2-fixing nodules.
  • • Techniques included PCR amplification of extracted DNA, for species identification, and histological studies to compare the developmental pathway of Gymnostoma mycorrhizal nodules with that of actinorhizal nodules.
  • • The fungal DNA suggested that the strain belongs to the genus Glomus (Glomales). The endophytic mycelium also contained typical Glomus arbuscules and hyphal coils. Structurally, Gymnostoma mycorrhizal nodules are similar to those described in some Coniferales and in Caesalpinioideae trees of French Guyana.
  • • The mycorrhizal nodules of G. deplancheanum and G. nodiflorum contain a fungus belonging to the Glomales. The role of the nodules might be linked to the ecological situation of the host plants, which are pioneers in exposed and rocky habitats.