• Organic Nitrogen-Driven Stimulation of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Hyphae Correlates with Abundance of Ammonia Oxidizers.

Organic Nitrogen-Driven Stimulation of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Hyphae Correlates with Abundance of Ammonia Oxidizers.

Frontiers in microbiology (2016-06-01)
Petra Bukovská, Milan Gryndler, Hana Gryndlerová, David Püschel, Jan Jansa

Large fraction of mineral nutrients in natural soil environments is recycled from complex and heterogeneously distributed organic sources. These sources are explored by both roots and associated mycorrhizal fungi. However, the mechanisms behind the responses of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) hyphal networks to soil organic patches of different qualities remain little understood. Therefore, we conducted a multiple-choice experiment examining hyphal responses to different soil patches within the root-free zone by two AM fungal species (Rhizophagus irregularis and Claroideoglomus claroideum) associated with Medicago truncatula, a legume forming nitrogen-fixing root nodules. Hyphal colonization of the patches was assessed microscopically and by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) using AM taxon-specific markers, and the prokaryotic and fungal communities in the patches (pooled per organic amendment treatment) were profiled by 454-amplicon sequencing. Specific qPCR markers were then designed and used to quantify the abundance of prokaryotic taxa showing the strongest correlation with the pattern of AM hyphal proliferation in the organic patches as per the 454-sequencing. The hyphal density of both AM fungi increased due to nitrogen (N)-containing organic amendments (i.e., chitin, DNA, albumin, and clover biomass), while no responses as compared to the non-amended soil patch were recorded for cellulose, phytate, or inorganic phosphate amendments. Abundances of several prokaryotes, including Nitrosospira sp. (an ammonium oxidizer) and an unknown prokaryote with affiliation to Acanthamoeba endosymbiont, which were frequently recorded in the 454-sequencing profiles, correlated positively with the hyphal responses of R. irregularis to the soil amendments. Strong correlation between abundance of these two prokaryotes and the hyphal responses to organic soil amendments by both AM fungi was then confirmed by qPCR analyses using all individual replicate patch samples. Further research is warranted to ascertain the causality of these correlations and particularly which direct roles (if any) do these prokaryotes play in the observed AM hyphal responses to organic N amendment, organic N utilization by the AM fungus and its (N-unlimited) host plant. Further, possible trophic dependencies between the different players in the AM hyphosphere needs to be elucidated upon decomposing the organic N sources.

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Phytic acid sodium salt hydrate, from rice