Growth response to and morphology of mycorrhizas of Thysanotus (Anthericaceae Monocotyledonae)


  • P. A. McGee

    1. Department Of Agricultural Biochemistry, Waite Agricultural Research Institute, University Of Adelaide, Glen Osmond, S.A., Australia, 5064
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  • I wish to thank Drs J. H. Warcup and S. K. Smith for advice and encouragement, Professor A. E. Ashford for suggesting the method of embedding and sectioning and her comments on the work, Waite Agricultural Research Institute Research Committee for the opportunity to work with Professor Ashford. The work was completed while on a University of Adelaide Postgraduate Research Award.


Seedlings of Thysanotus were inoculated in pot culture with fungi that form vesicular-arbuscular or ectomycorrhizas on other hosts. Mycorrhizas formed by both fungi were similar in morphology to each other and to mycorrhizas observed in field-collected plants. Hyphae of mycorrhizal fungi penetrated between epidermal cells and ramified between the cortex and epidermis. Spread of mycorrhizas in pot-cultured T. tenellus Endl. occurred only in the presence of a companion plant. In soils with low levels of nutrients, mycorrhizal plants of T. tenellus grew faster than non-mycorrhizal plants, with roots of infected plants growing relatively faster than shoots.