TITLE

The mycoheterotroph Arachnitis uniflora has a unique association with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

AUTHOR(S)
Domínguez, Laura S.; Melville, Lewis; Sérsic, Alicia; Faccio, Antonella; Peterson, R. Larry
PUB. DATE
December 2009
SOURCE
Botany;Dec2009, Vol. 87 Issue 12, p1198
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Achlorophyllous plants that are dependent on an association with fungi linked to photosynthetic plants for their carbon source are known as mycoheterotrophs. Arachnitis uniflora Phil., a monotypic member of the monocotyledonous family Corsiaceae, fits this category, as it relies on a glomalean fungus belonging to Glomus Group A for carbon acquisition. Although basic structural features of root colonization have been reported for A. uniflora, the nutrient exchange interface has not been studied. This is the first study to use confocal microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and cytochemical procedures to study the interface between a glomalean fungus and the roots of a mycoheterotrophic species. Results showed that arbuscules are never formed, and that the “vesicles in bundles” reported earlier are unlike typical glomalean vesicles, in that they form in clusters by the enlargement of hyphal branches and have a complex multilayered wall. The thick inner wall layer consists primarily of β-1,3-glucans (callose) and is surrounded by a thin outer layer of chitin. Each structure is surrounded by host cell wall material and a perifungal membrane, suggesting an involvement in nutrient exchange. The cytoplasm contains a complex of small β-1,3-glucan-containing vacuoles, lipid bodies, endobacteria, and many nuclei. These structures enlarge to occupy most of the cortical cell volume and then degrade, releasing lipids and other materials into the host cell. We suggest that these structures should not be equated with typical glomalean vesicles but are unique structures that may be involved, along with the hyphal coils, in nutrient acquisition by the host.
ACCESSION #
47129598

 

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