Functional diversity in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses: the contribution of the mycorrhizal P uptake pathway is not correlated with mycorrhizal responses in growth or total P uptake
Author for correspondence: Sally E. Smith Tel: +61 (8) 83036704 Fax: +61 (8) 83036511 Email: email@example.com
- • We investigated structural and functional diversity in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses involving three plant species and three AM fungi and measured contributions of the fungi to P uptake using compartmented pots and 33P. The plant/fungus combinations varied in growth and P responses. Flax (Linum usitatissimum) responded positively to all fungi, and medic (Medicago truncatula) to Glomus caledonium and G. intraradices, but not Gigaspora rosea. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) showed no positive responses.
- • Hyphal growth in soil was very low for Gi. rosea and high for both Glomus spp. Hyphal lengths in root + hyphal compartment (RHC) and hyphal compartment (HC) were similar for G. intraradices, but much higher in HC for G. caledonium.
- • Specific activities of 33P in plants and soil indicated that fungal P uptake made substantial contributions to five plant/fungus combinations and significant contributions to a further two. G. intraradices delivered close to 100% of the P in all three plants. G. caledonium and Gi. rosea delivered less P. The amount was not related to colonisation or to growth or P responses.
- • We conclude that: AM colonisation can result in complete inactivation of the direct P uptake pathway via root hairs and epidermis; calculations of AM contributions to P uptake from total plant P will often be highly inaccurate; and lack of plant responsiveness does not mean that an AM fungus makes no contribution to P uptake.