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Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Setaro, Sabrina [1], Kron, Kathleen A. [2], Kottke, Ingrid [3].

Neotropical Ericaceae and their Mycorrhizal Fungi.

Ericaceae are remarkable concerning their symbiotic associations with mycorrhizal fungi. So far, three mycorrhizal types have been documented for Ericaceae, which are the arbutoid, monotropoid and ericoid mycorrhiza. These mycorrhizae occur exclusively in Ericaceae and enable them to become dominant taxa in nutrient poor and acidic soils. Heathlands of the Northern Hemisphere are an example. Until now, most of the mycorrhizal research in Ericaceae was done on species from the Northern Hemisphere and Australia. However, the diversity hotspots are in Asia, South Africa and the Northern Andes. Mycorrhizal fungi of Ericaceae from the mountainous rain forest of southern Ecuador were studied by this group for the last five years. Most of the Ericaceae in this area belong to the Andean-clade, which is a subgroup of the Vaccinioideae endemic to the Neotropics. These plants grow mostly as hemiepiphytes or epiphytes and are thought to have radiated in this region. Our morphological investigations, based on light and transmission electron microscopy, revealed a new mycorrhizal association for Andean-clade-Ericaceae, which we call cavendishioid mycorrhiza. The dominant fungal partners are basidiomycetes. They form a hyphal sheath around the finest rootlets as well as inter- and intracellular hyphae in the cortex. We identified the basidiomycetes with molecular methods. This revealed that they belong to the order Sebacinales, which are known to form several distinct mycorrhizal associations with different host plants.

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1 - Wake Forest University, Department of Biology, 113 Winston Hall, PO Box 7325 Reynolda Station, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27109, USA
2 - Wake Forest University, Department of Biology, PO Box 7325, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27109-7325, USA
3 - Eberhard-Karls-Universitaet Tuebingen, Spezielle Botanik und Mykology, Auf der Morgenstelle 1, Tuebingen, 72076, Germany

mycorrhizal fungi
tropical andean forests

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 40
Location: Blair A/Gage
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Time: 10:15 AM
Number: 40002
Abstract ID:409

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