Journal Article

Inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi suppresses initiation of haustoria in the root hemiparasite <i>Pedicularis tricolor</i>

Ai-Rong Li, Sally E. Smith, F. Andrew Smith and Kai-Yun Guan

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 109, issue 6, pages 1075-1080
Published in print May 2012 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online February 2012 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcs028
Inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi suppresses initiation of haustoria in the root hemiparasite Pedicularis tricolor

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
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Background and Aims

Plant parasitism and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) associations have many parallels and share a number of regulatory pathways. Despite a rapid increase in investigations addressing the roles of AM fungi in regulating interactions between parasitic plants and their hosts, few studies have tested the effect of AM fungi on the initiation and differentiation of haustoria, the parasite-specific structures exclusively responsible for host attachment and nutrient transfer. In this study, we tested the influence of AM fungi on haustorium formation in a root hemiparasitic plant.

Methods

Using a facultative root hemiparasitic species (Pedicularis tricolor) with the potential to form AM associations, the effects of inoculation were tested with two AM fungal species, Glomus mosseae and Glomus intraradices, on haustorium initiation in P. tricolor grown alone or with Hordeum vulgare ‘Fleet’ (barley) as the host plant. This study consisted of two greenhouse pot experiments.

Key Results

Both AM fungal species dramatically suppressed intraspecific haustorium initiation in P. tricolor at a very low colonization level. The suppression over-rode inductive effects of the parasite's host plant on haustoria production and caused significant growth depression of P. tricolor.

Conclusions

AM fungi had strong and direct suppressive effects on haustorium formation in the root hemiparasite. The significant role of AM fungi in haustorium initiation of parasitic plants was demonstrated for the first time. This study provides new clues for the regulation of haustorium formation and a route to development of new biocontrol strategies in management of parasitic weeds.

Keywords: Root hemiparasite; Pedicularis tricolor; Orobanchaceae; arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; initiation of haustoria; Hordeum vulgare ‘Fleet’; Glomus mosseae; Glomus intraradices

Journal Article.  4293 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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