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No evidence for allelopathic effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on the non-host plant Stellaria media


Veiga, Rita S L; Howard, Keya; Heijden, Marcel G A (2012). No evidence for allelopathic effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on the non-host plant Stellaria media. Plant and Soil, 360(1-2):319-331.

Abstract

Background and aims: Increasing evidence suggests that several plants, particularly non-mycorrhizal species, are negatively affected by the presence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). Mechanisms explaining suppressive effects of AMF are, however, still poorly understood. Here we test whether growth suppression of the non-host weed Stellaria media in the presence of AMF can be explained by mycorrhizal alellopathy. Methods: We grew S. media in microcosms where an active AM mycelium was supported by neighboring wheat (Triticum aestivum) plants. To test for allelopathy, we added activated carbon (AC) to the soil substrate. In addition, we performed two complementary experiments where extracts from roots extensively colonized by AMF (AMexudates) were directly applied to S. media seeds and seedlings. Results: Stellaria media plants grown in microcosms with AM mycelium showed an 8-fold biomass reduction compared to microcosms where AMF were absent. The addition of AC, which is thought to reduce allelopathic effects by binding organic compounds, did not greatly mitigate the negative effect of AM mycelium on S. media growth. Moreover, AM exudates did not significantly reduce S. media germination and growth. Conclusions: Results from this study confirm that nonhosts like S. media can be highly suppressed in the presence of AMF. However, we found no evidence that mycorrhizal allelopathy was a major mechanism responsible for growth suppression of S. media in the presence of AMF. Other mechanisms might therefore be more significant in explaining suppressive effects of AMF on non-host plant species.

Abstract

Background and aims: Increasing evidence suggests that several plants, particularly non-mycorrhizal species, are negatively affected by the presence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). Mechanisms explaining suppressive effects of AMF are, however, still poorly understood. Here we test whether growth suppression of the non-host weed Stellaria media in the presence of AMF can be explained by mycorrhizal alellopathy. Methods: We grew S. media in microcosms where an active AM mycelium was supported by neighboring wheat (Triticum aestivum) plants. To test for allelopathy, we added activated carbon (AC) to the soil substrate. In addition, we performed two complementary experiments where extracts from roots extensively colonized by AMF (AMexudates) were directly applied to S. media seeds and seedlings. Results: Stellaria media plants grown in microcosms with AM mycelium showed an 8-fold biomass reduction compared to microcosms where AMF were absent. The addition of AC, which is thought to reduce allelopathic effects by binding organic compounds, did not greatly mitigate the negative effect of AM mycelium on S. media growth. Moreover, AM exudates did not significantly reduce S. media germination and growth. Conclusions: Results from this study confirm that nonhosts like S. media can be highly suppressed in the presence of AMF. However, we found no evidence that mycorrhizal allelopathy was a major mechanism responsible for growth suppression of S. media in the presence of AMF. Other mechanisms might therefore be more significant in explaining suppressive effects of AMF on non-host plant species.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Allelopathy, Agroecosystems, Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), Growth suppression, Nonmycorrhizal hosts, Weeds
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:16 Jan 2013 15:49
Last Modified:18 Feb 2018 15:33
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0032-079X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-012-1256-x

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