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Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi pre-inoculant identity determines community composition in roots

Mummey, Daniel L., Antunes, Pedro M., Rillig, Matthias C.
Soil biology & biochemistry 2009 v.41 no.6 pp. 1173-1179
vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae, roots, inoculation methods, community structure, seedlings, Leucanthemum vulgare, Glomus, Gigaspora, ribosomal DNA, restriction fragment length polymorphism, phylogeny, life history, soil ecology, Idaho
Pre-inoculation of seedlings with commercial, typically non-indigenous, AMF inoculants is common practice in horticultural and land reclamation industries. How these practices influence AMF community composition in pre-inoculated seedlings after they are planted in soil containing a resident AMF community is almost completely unknown. However, there may be important implications regarding success of horticultural practices, as well as unexpected ecological consequences. In this study we exposed Leucanthemum vulgare seedlings to five different AMF treatments (pre-inoculation with a representative of Glomus group A and Glomus group B, one of two Gigaspora spp., or no AMF) prior to exposure to a whole-soil, mixed-AMF community inoculum. After a growth period of 75 additional for 28 days, AMF community composition within the roots was analyzed using an approach combining LSU rDNA sequencing and T-RFLP analysis. Our results indicate that the AMF communities that assemble within roots were strongly influenced by AMF pre-inoculant identity. Pre-inoculation with either Glomus spp., unlike what was found for Gigaspora, greatly restricted numbers of other AMF ribotypes able to subsequently colonize roots after exposure to our Glomeraceae-dominated field soil; this suggested that phylogenetic relatedness and life history strategies may play a role in AMF community assembly. Our results further revealed concurrent changes in AMF community functions, as indicated by differences in plant biomass and foliar nutrients. These results serve to highlight the importance of considering life history differences when designing AMF inoculants and may have important implications regarding the introduction of non-indigenous AMF.