Small genetic differences between ericoid mycorrhizal fungi affect nitrogen uptake by Vaccinium
Article first published online: 19 NOV 2008
© The Authors (2008). Journal compilation © New Phytologist (2008)
Volume 181, Issue 3, pages 708–718, February 2009
How to Cite
Grelet, G.-A., Meharg, A. A., Duff, E. I., Anderson, I. C. and Alexander, I. J. (2009), Small genetic differences between ericoid mycorrhizal fungi affect nitrogen uptake by Vaccinium. New Phytologist, 181: 708–718. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02678.x
- Issue published online: 15 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 19 NOV 2008
- Received: 21 July 2008; Accepted: 22 September 2008
- ericoid mycorrhizal (ERM) fungi;
- functional diversity;
- intraspecific variation;
- nitrogen (N) uptake;
- Rhizoscyphus ericae;
- Vaccinium spp
- • Ericoid mycorrhizal fungi have been shown to differ in their pattern of nitrogen (N) use in pure culture. Here, we investigate whether this functional variation is maintained in symbiosis using three ascomycetes from a clade not previously shown to include ericoid mycorrhizal taxa.
- • Vaccinium macrocarpon and Vaccinium vitis-idaea were inoculated with three fungal strains known to form coils in Vaccinium roots, which differed in their patterns of N use in liquid culture. 15N was used to trace the uptake of -N, -N and glutamine-N into shoots.
- • 15N transfer differed among the three fungal strains, including two that had identical internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences, and was quantitatively related to fungal growth in liquid culture at low carbon availability.
- • These results demonstrate that functional differences among closely related ericoid mycorrhizal fungi are maintained in symbiosis with their hosts, and suggest that N transfer to plant shoots in ericoid mycorrhizas is under fungal control.