- • Characteristic sterols of transformed carrot (Daucus carota) and chicory (Cichorium intybus) roots colonized by different strains of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi were identified.
- • Sterols were extracted, analysed and identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS) from monoxenic cultures of mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal roots. After colonization by Glomus intraradices, Glomus proliferum and Glomus sp., carrot and chicory roots exhibited a significantly higher 24-methyl/methylene sterol content. A correlation was established between the content of the sum of 24-methyl cholesterol, 24-methylene cholesterol and 24-methyl desmosterol.
- • This study clearly established that the increment of these characteristic sterols is an appropriate indicator of colonization by AM fungi of transformed roots.
- • Metabolic origin and specificity of these sterols in mycorrhizal roots was researched. The 24-methyl/methylene sterol increase was observed only when the interaction between fungus and plant was completely established and the fungus was present inside the roots.