Elevated CO2 spurs reciprocal positive effects between a plant virus and an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus

Authors

  • Megan A. Rúa,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, USA
    • Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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  • James Umbanhowar,

    1. Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    2. Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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  • Shuijin Hu,

    1. Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
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  • Kent O. Burkey,

    1. USDA – ARS Plant Science Research Unit, and Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
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  • Charles E. Mitchell

    1. Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    2. Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Corrigendum Volume 199, Issue 4, 1109, Article first published online: 10 July 2013

Author for correspondence:

Megan A. Rúa

Tel: +1 662 915 7203

Email: marua@olemiss.edu

Summary

  • Plants form ubiquitous associations with diverse microbes. These interactions range from parasitism to mutualism, depending partly on resource supplies that are being altered by global change. While many studies have considered the separate effects of pathogens and mutualists on their hosts, few studies have investigated interactions among microbial mutualists and pathogens in the context of global change.
  • Using two wild grass species as model hosts, we grew individual plants under ambient or elevated CO2, and ambient or increased soil phosphorus (P) supply. Additionally, individuals were grown with or without arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculum, and after 2 wk, plants were inoculated or mock-inoculated with a phloem-restricted virus.
  • Under elevated CO2, mycorrhizal association increased the titer of virus infections, and virus infection reciprocally increased the colonization of roots by mycorrhizal fungi. Additionally, virus infection decreased plant allocation to root biomass, increased leaf P, and modulated effects of CO2 and P addition on mycorrhizal root colonization.
  • These results indicate that plant mutualists and pathogens can alter each other's success, and predict that these interactions will respond to increased resource availability and elevated CO2. Together, our findings highlight the importance of interactions among multiple microorganisms for plant performance under global change.

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