mycorrhizal fungi; endophytic fungi,plant-soil feedback, ecological stoichiometry
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Time to re‐think fungal ecology? Fungal ecological niches are often prejudged

Time to re‐think fungal ecology? Fungal ecological niches are often prejudged | mycorrhizal fungi; endophytic fungi,plant-soil feedback, ecological stoichiometry | Scoop.it
This article is a Commentary on Lofgren et al., 217: 1203–1212 and Martino et al., 217: 1213–1229.
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Molecular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis

Molecular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis | mycorrhizal fungi; endophytic fungi,plant-soil feedback, ecological stoichiometry | Scoop.it
Recent years have seen extensive research in the molecular underpinnings of symbiotic plant-fungal interactions. Molecular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis is a timely collection of work that will bridge the gap between molecular biology, fungal genomics, and ecology. A more profound understanding of mycorrhizal symbiosis will have broad-ranging impacts on the fields of plant biology, mycology, crop science, and ecology. Molecular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis will open with introductory chapters on the biology, structure and phylogeny of the major types of mycorrhizal symbioses. Chapters then review different molecular mechanisms driving the development and functioning of mycorrhizal systems and molecular analysis of mycorrhizal populations and communities. The book closes with chapters that provide an overall synthesis of field and provide perspectives for future research. Authoritative and timely, Molecular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis, will be an essential reference from those working in plant and fungal biology.

Via Jean-Michel Ané
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USDA ARS Fixing Nitrogen for the World

USDA ARS Fixing Nitrogen for the World | mycorrhizal fungi; endophytic fungi,plant-soil feedback, ecological stoichiometry | Scoop.it
One of the Agricultural Research Service’s more unusual germplasm collections is devoted to Rhizobium, bacteria that form symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationships with soybeans, alfalfa, peanuts, beans, and other legumes to convert nitrogen gas from the air into fertilizer for the plants. This process is known as “nitrogen fixation.”

The oldest part of the Rhizobium collection dates back to samples taken more than 100 years ago at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Arlington Farm, now the site of the Pentagon. Although informally a collection since 1913, it was formally established as the ARS National Rhizobium Germplasm Resource Collection in 1975 and is currently part of the Soybean Genomics and Improvement Laboratory at the Beltsville [Maryland] Agricultural Research Center.

Driving the formalization of the collection was the 1973 oil embargo and the associated energy crisis, which highlighted the fact that petroleum-based nitrogen fertilizers were limited resources for food production. This emphasized the need to rely more on biological nitrogen fixation for global food security. As a result, the U.S. Agency for International Development provided the original funding to establish the national Rhizobium collection. While petroleum-based nitrogen has remained readily available and production costs have declined, reducing reliance on these fertilizers is still important. Biological nitrogen fixation is also key to growing organic crops.

Today, the National Rhizobium Germplasm Resource Collection has more than 5,000 curated specimens. An additional 5,000 strains have come from other collections around the world and will be incorporated into the national collection.

Via Jean-Michel Ané
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Jean-Michel Ané's curator insight, February 13, 2016 3:13 PM

Good news... I thought that this collection was not available anymore!

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Independent Evolution of Leaf and Root Traits within and among Temperate Grassland Plant Communities | High Quality Data

Independent Evolution of Leaf and Root Traits within and among Temperate Grassland Plant Communities | High Quality Data | mycorrhizal fungi; endophytic fungi,plant-soil feedback, ecological stoichiometry | Scoop.it

In this study, we used data from temperate grassland plant communities in Alberta, Canada to test two longstanding hypotheses in ecology: 1) that there has been correlated evolution of the leaves and roots of plants due to selection for an integrated whole-plant resource uptake strategy, and 2) that trait diversity in ecological communities is generated by adaptations to the conditions in different habitats. We tested the first hypothesis using phylogenetic comparative methods to test for evidence of correlated evolution of suites of leaf and root functional traits in these grasslands. There were consistent evolutionary correlations among traits related to plant resource uptake strategies within leaf tissues, and within root tissues. In contrast, there were inconsistent correlations between the traits of leaves and the traits of roots, suggesting different evolutionary pressures on the above and belowground components of plant morphology. To test the second hypothesis, we evaluated the relative importance of two components of trait diversity: within-community variation (species trait values relative to co-occurring species; α traits) and among-community variation (the average trait value in communities where species occur; β traits). Trait diversity was mostly explained by variation among co-occurring species, not among-communities. Additionally, there was a phylogenetic signal in the within-community trait values of species relative to co-occurring taxa, but not in their habitat associations or among-community trait variation. These results suggest that sorting of pre-existing trait variation into local communities can explain the leaf and root trait diversity in these grasslands.


Via Alin Velea
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Soil fungal communities of grasslands are environmentally structured at a regional scale in the Alps

Soil fungal communities of grasslands are environmentally structured at a regional scale in the Alps | mycorrhizal fungi; endophytic fungi,plant-soil feedback, ecological stoichiometry | Scoop.it

Studying patterns of species distributions along elevation gradients is frequently used to identify the primary factors that determine the distribution, diversity and assembly of species. However, despite their crucial role in ecosystem functioning, our understanding of the distribution of below-ground fungi is still limited, calling for more comprehensive studies of fungal biogeography along environmental gradients at various scales (from regional to global). Here, we investigated the richness of taxa of soil fungi and their phylogenetic diversity across a wide range of grassland types along a 2800 m elevation gradient at a large number of sites (213), stratified across a region of the Western Swiss Alps (700 km2). We used 454 pyrosequencing to obtain fungal sequences that were clustered into operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The OTU diversity–area relationship revealed uneven distribution of fungal taxa across the study area (i.e. not all taxa are everywhere) and fine-scale spatial clustering. Fungal richness and phylogenetic diversity were found to be higher in lower temperatures and higher moisture conditions. Climatic and soil characteristics as well as plant community composition were related to OTU alpha, beta and phylogenetic diversity, with distinct fungal lineages suggesting distinct ecological tolerances. Soil fungi, thus, show lineage-specific biogeographic patterns, even at a regional scale, and follow environmental determinism, mediated by interactions with plants.


Via Francis Martin, Jean-Michel Ané
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Forests trapped in nitrogen limitation – an ecological market perspective on ectomycorrhizal symbiosis - Franklin - 2014 - New Phytologist - Wiley Online Library

Forests trapped in nitrogen limitation – an ecological market perspective on ectomycorrhizal symbiosis - Franklin - 2014 - New Phytologist - Wiley Online Library | mycorrhizal fungi; endophytic fungi,plant-soil feedback, ecological stoichiometry | Scoop.it
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High intraspecific genome diversity in the model arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiont Rhizophagus irregularis - Chen - 2018 - New Phytologist - Wiley Online Library

High intraspecific genome diversity in the model arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiont Rhizophagus irregularis - Chen - 2018 - New Phytologist - Wiley Online Library | mycorrhizal fungi; endophytic fungi,plant-soil feedback, ecological stoichiometry | Scoop.it
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Moving beyond de novo clustering in fungal community ecology

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Restricting mutualistic partners to enforce trade reliance

Restricting mutualistic partners to enforce trade reliance | mycorrhizal fungi; endophytic fungi,plant-soil feedback, ecological stoichiometry | Scoop.it
Mutualisms are cooperative interactions between members of different species, often involving the trade of resources. Here, we suggest that otherwise-cooperative mutualists might be able to gain a benefit from actively restricting their partners’ ability to obtain resources directly, hampering the ability of the restricted partner to survive and/or reproduce without the help of the restricting mutualist. We show that (i) restriction can be favoured when it makes the resources of the restricting individual more valuable to their partner, and thus allows them to receive more favourable terms of trade; (ii) restriction maintains cooperation in conditions where cooperative behaviour would otherwise collapse; and (iii) restriction can lead to either an increase or decrease in a restricted individual’s fitness. We discuss the applicability of this scenario to mutualisms such as those between plants and mycorrhizal fungi. These results identify a novel conflict in mutualisms as well as several public goods dilemmas, but also demonstrate how conflict can help maintain cooperation.

Via Pedobiologia: Journal of Soil Ecology
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The rhizosphere and hyphosphere differ in their impacts on carbon and nitrogen cycling in forests exposed to elevated CO2

The rhizosphere and hyphosphere differ in their impacts on carbon and nitrogen cycling in forests exposed to elevated CO2 | mycorrhizal fungi; endophytic fungi,plant-soil feedback, ecological stoichiometry | Scoop.it
While multiple experiments have demonstrated that trees exposed to elevated CO2 can stimulate microbes to release nutrients from soil organic matter, the importance of root- versus mycorrhizal-induced changes in soil processes are presently unknown.
We analyzed the contribution of roots and mycorrhizal activities to carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) turnover in a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forest exposed to elevated CO2 by measuring extracellular enzyme activities at soil microsites accessed via root windows. Specifically, we quantified enzyme activity from soil adjacent to root tips (rhizosphere), soil adjacent to hyphal tips (hyphosphere), and bulk soil.
During the peak growing season, CO2 enrichment induced a greater increase of N-releasing enzymes in the rhizosphere (215% increase) than in the hyphosphere (36% increase), but a greater increase of recalcitrant C-degrading enzymes in the hyphosphere (118%) than in the rhizosphere (19%). Nitrogen fertilization influenced the magnitude of CO2 effects on enzyme activities in the rhizosphere only. At the ecosystem scale, the rhizosphere accounted for c. 50% and 40% of the total activity of N- and C-releasing enzymes, respectively.
Collectively, our results suggest that root exudates may contribute more to accelerated N cycling under elevated CO2 at this site, while mycorrhizal fungi may contribute more to soil C degradation.

Via Jean-Michel Ané
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Diversity of Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria Associated with Switchgrass in the Native Tallgrass Prairie of Northern Oklahoma

witchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a perennial C4 grass native to North America that is being developed as a feedstock for cellulosic ethanol production. Industrial nitrogen fertilizers enhance switchgrass biomass production but add to production and environmental costs. A potential sustainable alternative source of nitrogen is biological nitrogen fixation. As a step in this direction, we studied the diversity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria (NFB) associated with native switchgrass plants from the tallgrass prairie of northern Oklahoma (United States), using a culture-independent approach. DNA sequences from the nitrogenase structural gene, nifH, revealed over 20 putative diazotrophs from the alpha-, beta-, delta-, and gammaproteobacteria and the firmicutes associated with roots and shoots of switchgrass. Alphaproteobacteria, especially rhizobia, predominated. Sequences derived from nifH RNA indicated expression of this gene in several bacteria of the alpha-, beta-, delta-, and gammaproteobacterial groups associated with roots. Prominent among these were Rhizobium and Methylobacterium species of the alphaproteobacteria, Burkholderia and Azoarcus species of the betaproteobacteria, and Desulfuromonas and Geobacter species of the deltaproteobacteria.


Via Jean-Michel Ané
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Jean-Michel Ané's curator insight, August 29, 2014 4:34 PM

Nice work on switchgrass

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The ISME Journal - Symbiotic relationships between soil fungi and plants reduce N2O emissions from soil

The ISME Journal - Symbiotic relationships between soil fungi and plants reduce N2O emissions from soil | mycorrhizal fungi; endophytic fungi,plant-soil feedback, ecological stoichiometry | Scoop.it
The ISME Journal: Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology is the official Journal of the International Society for Microbial Ecology, publishing high-quality, original research papers, short communications, commentary articles and reviews in the rapidly expanding and diverse discipline of microbial ecology.
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