anatomy and physiology of vesicular-arbuscular and l. · symposium on mycorrhizae and plant disease...
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Symposium on Mycorrhizae and Plant Disease Research
Anatomy and Physiology of Vesicular-Arbuscular and Nonmycorrhizal Roots
D. E. Carling and M. F. Brown
Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, Paimer 99645 and Department of Plant Pathology, University of Missouri, Columbia 6521 1, respectively.
A contribution from the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, approved by the director as Journal Series Paper 8972. We thank E. J. King and J. A. White for assistance in preparing specimens for microscopy and D. L. Pinkerton for photographic work.
The roots of most species of vascular plants except the Coniferales are extensively colonized by the ubiquitous soil- inhabiting fungi classified in the Endogonaceae. The species of primary concern are in the genera Glomus, Acaulospora, and Sclerocystis since they form endomycorrhizae characterized by the production of both vesicles and arbuscules (VA mycorrhizae) ( 1 6,35). Although Gfgaspora spp. only rarely produce vesicles in infected roots, other aspects of the mycorrhizae they form are generally comparable to infections caused by the three previously indicated genera of VA fungi. However, since most VA rnycorrhizal research has involved various GIomtl~ spp., those
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0031 -949X/82/08110807/$03.00/0 @I982 The American Phytopathologlcal Society
observations are the primary bases for our current understanding of these associations.
Macroscopic alterations of normal root morphology, which typically accompany ectomycorrhizal development, are absent in VA infections. In some hosts, a yellow pigmentation may be seen in freshly harvested mycorrhizal roots (4) but confirmation of VA mycarrhiza1 development, as well as quantitativeevaluations of the extent of VA infections within the root system, requires microscopic examination of roots which have been chemically cleared and stained to reveal endophytic fungal structures (30,39). With carefully harvested and prepared roots grown under field conditions, V A infections involving half of the total root length of many host species are not uncornmon and levels substantially exceeding 75% of the total root length may be obtained in pot cultures employingappropriate fungal symbionts and sterilized soil media. Although the fungi are obligate parasites and exhibit extremely broad host ranges, the magnitude of host response is not
11 08 PHYTOPATHOLOGY