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Sample storage conditions alter colonisation structures of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and, particularly, fine root endophyte

Orchard, S., Standish, R.J., Nicol, D., Dickie, I.A. and Ryan, M.H. (2017) Sample storage conditions alter colonisation structures of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and, particularly, fine root endophyte. Plant and Soil, 412 (1-2). pp. 35-42.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11104-016-2867-4
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Abstract

Background and Aims The structures of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi (hyphae, arbuscules, vesicles, spores) are used to make inferences about fungal activity based on stored samples, yet the impact of storage method has not been quantified, despite known effects of temperature and host condition on AM fungal colonisation.

Methods We measured how four storage treatments (cool or ambient conditions, with and without plant shoots attached, i.e. n = four treatment combinations) affected AM fungal colonisation of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) after 0, 2, 6 and 10 days of storage. Roots were assessed for colonisation of fine root endophyte and coarse AM fungi.

Results For coarse AM fungi, total colonisation was unaffected, but arbuscules were reduced at Day 6 and increased again by Day 10, except Ambient-Minus-Shoots. There was a loss of vesicles in all treatments at Day 2, and an increase in spore number at Day 6 within Cool-Plus-Shoots. In contrast, for fine root endophyte, total colonisation was greatly reduced at Day 6 but increased again at Day 10, in all except the Cool-Plus-Shoots treatment.

Conclusions Our data demonstrate that AM fungal activity is not suspended in commonly used plant storage conditions. Storage method and time impacted AM fungal colonisation, particularly for fine root endophyte. We recommend samples are processed within 2 days of harvest.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright: © 2017 Springer International Publishing AG.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/36612
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