Plant and Soil, 2011, Vol.339(1), pp.231-245
Diversity in phosphorus (P) acquisition strategies was assessed among three species of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) isolated from a single field in Switzerland. Medicago truncatula was used as a test plant. It was grown in a compartmented system with root and root-free zones separated by a fine mesh. Dual radioisotope labeling ( 32 P and 33 P) was employed in the root-free zone as follows: 33 P labeling determined hyphal P uptake from different distances from roots over the entire growth period, whereas 32 P labeling investigated hyphal P uptake close to the roots over the 48 hours immediately prior to harvest. Glomus intraradices , Glomus claroideum and Gigaspora margarita were able to take up and deliver P to the plants from maximal distances of 10, 6 and 1 cm from the roots, respectively. Glomus intraradices most rapidly colonized the available substrate and transported significant amounts of P towards the roots, but provided the same growth benefit as compared to Glomus claroideum , whose mycelium was less efficient in soil exploration and in P uptake and delivery to the roots. These differences are probably related to different carbon requirements by these different Glomus species. Gigaspora margarita provided low P benefits to the plants and formed dense mycelium networks close to the roots where P was probably transiently immobilized. Numerical modeling identified possible mechanisms underlying the observed differences in patterns of mycelium growth. High external hyphal production at the root-fungus interface together with rapid hyphal turnover were pointed out as important factors governing hyphal network development by Gigaspora , whereas nonlinearity in apical branching and hyphal anastomoses were key features for G. intraradices and G. claroideum , respectively.
Arbuscular mycorrhiza ; Extraradical mycelium ; Functional diversity ; Hyphal growth model ; Medicago truncatula ; Phosphorus
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