Activity profiling of ectomycorrhiza communities in two forest soils using multiple enzymatic tests

Authors

  • Pierre-Emmanuel Courty,

    Corresponding author
    1. Unité Mixte de Recherche INRA–UHP 1136 ‘Interactions Arbres/Microorganismes’, F−54280 Champenoux, France;
    2. These authors contributed equally to this work
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  • Karin Pritsch,

    1. Chair of Soil Ecology, Technische Universität München, D−85764 Neuherberg, Germany,
    2. These authors contributed equally to this work
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  • Michael Schloter,

    1. Institute of Soil Ecology, GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, D−85764 Neuherberg, Germany;
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  • Anton Hartmann,

    1. Institute of Soil Ecology, GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, D−85764 Neuherberg, Germany;
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  • Jean Garbaye

    1. Unité Mixte de Recherche INRA–UHP 1136 ‘Interactions Arbres/Microorganismes’, F−54280 Champenoux, France;
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Author for correspondence:Pierre Emmanuel Courty Tel:+33 383 394041 Fax: +33 383 394069 Email: courty@nancy.inra.fr

Summary

  • • Data on the diversity and distribution of enzyme activities in native ectomycorrhizal (ECM) communities are inadequate.
  • • A microplate multiple enzymatic test was developed which makes it possible to measure eight enzyme activities on 14 individual, excised ECM root tips. Hydrolytic and oxidative enzymes are involved in the decomposition of lignocellulose, chitin and phosphorus-containing organic compounds. This test system was used to describe the functional diversity of ECM communities in two forest sites.
  • • This set of tests proved to be accurate and sensitive enough to reveal a high diversity of activity profiles, depending on the fungal symbiont and the soil horizon. Ectomycorrhizas can be classified into specialists and generalists, and appear to complement each other in the same horizon to collectively perform all eight activities studied.
  • • By including a higher number of different assays for more detailed analyses, ECM activity profiling will provide a valuable tool for studying the functional diversity of ECM communities.

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