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Characterisation of microbial communities colonising the hyphal surfaces of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
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Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are symbiotic soil fungi that are intimately associated with the roots of the majority of land plants. They colonise the interior of the roots and the hyphae extend into the soil. It is well known that bacterial colonisation of the rhizosphere can be crucial for many pathogenic as well as symbiotic plant-microbe interactions. However, although bacteria colonising the extraradical AMF hyphae (the hyphosphere) might be equally important for AMF symbiosis, little is known regarding which bacterial species would colonise AMF hyphae. In this study, we investigated which bacterial communities might be associated with AMF hyphae. As bacterial-hyphal attachment is extremely difficult to study in situ, we designed a system to grow AMF hyphae of Glomus intraradices and Glomus proliferum and studied which bacteria separated from an agricultural soil specifically attach to the hyphae. Characterisation of attached and non-attached bacterial communities was performed using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and clone library sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene fragments. For all experiments, the composition of hyphal attached bacterial communities was different from the non-attached communities, and was also different from bacterial communities that had attached to glass wool (a non-living substratum). Analysis of amplified 16S rRNA genes indicated that in particular bacteria from the family of Oxalobacteraceae were highly abundant on AMF hyphae, suggesting that they may have developed specific interactions with the fungi.
arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, bacterial community, hyphae, plant-microbe interactions, rhizosphere, T-RFLP
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