Special Issue "Mycorrhizal Fungi and Plants"

A special issue of Journal of Fungi (ISSN 2309-608X). This special issue belongs to the section "Fungal Cell Biology, Metabolism and Physiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Pierre-Emmanuel Courty
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Agroécologie, AgroSupDijon, CNRS, INRA, Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France
Interests: mycorrhizal symbiosis; ectomycorrhizal and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; functional diversity; genomics; transcriptomics; plant and fungal transporters; ammonium; phosphate; water; common mycorrhizal networks; isotopes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mycorrhizal fungi are a heterogeneous group of diverse fungal taxa, associated with the roots of over 90% of all plant species. In the last ten years, molecular and genetic tools, the development of high-throughput sequencing technologies, as well as the advances in bioinformatics have allowed improving knowledge on the biology, ecology, and biodiversity of mycorrhizal associations. The contribution of projects dedicated to the sequencing of several mycorrhizal fungal genomes has helped to reveal how evolution has played a crucial role in fashioning fungal genomes to suit their own specialization, highlighting the differences in the symbiotic relationship between the host plant and the fungus in several mycorrhizal interactions. A further important step should be the correlation of findings by -omics approaches with phenotyping data, with the aim to identify the favorable traits associated with several mycorrhizal interactions. Several mycorrhizal fungi can also differently influence different soil processes. Moreover, mycorrhizal fungi are forming multitrophic interactions with micro and macro-organisms (i.e., insects, bacteria) that could also modify their phenotypes. Improving knowledge on all these aspects could be an important point for the optimization in the application of these fungi in sustainable agro-forestry programs.

Prof. Dr. Raffaella Maria Balestrini
Prof. Dr. Pierre-Emmanuel Courty
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Nutrient uptake
  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi
  • Symbiotic interaction
  • Agroforestry
  • Organic farming
  • Ecosystem services
  • Multitrophic interactions

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Lack of Linkages among Fruiting Depth, Weight, and Maturity in Irrigated Truffle Fungi Marks the Complexity of Relationships among Morphogenetic Stages
J. Fungi 2021, 7(2), 102; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7020102 - 01 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 497
Abstract
The highly prized black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) has become a model species for ectomycorrhizal fungi biology. However, several questions concerning its reproductive phase remain unanswered. To provide new hypotheses on the fruitbody formation process, we have explored the causal links among [...] Read more.
The highly prized black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) has become a model species for ectomycorrhizal fungi biology. However, several questions concerning its reproductive phase remain unanswered. To provide new hypotheses on the fruitbody formation process, we have explored the causal links among development characters of black truffle fruitbodies that are primarily linked to either the mating process, fruitbody growing stage, or maturation. Path analysis was applied to test causal models outlining the relationships among fruitbody development characters such as fruiting depth, weight, shape, and spore maturity. These characters were investigated over a two-season survey and three soil typologies (plus peat-based substrate) under irrigated conditions. We found a clear and generalized relationship between fruitbody weight and shape. Among clusters of fruitbodies we found a positive relationship between the weight of the largest fruitbody and the weight of the remaining fruitbodies. However, no generalized relationships among characters linked to different development stages appeared. Our results were noticeably consistent across soil typologies, both for fruitbodies growing singly and in clusters, indicating that early-developing fruitbody characters did not influence characters linked to subsequent morphogenetic stages. The lack of links among stages opens new perspectives for pre-harvest quality management with stage-specific cultivation practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi and Plants)
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Article
Root Endophytic Fungal Community and Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotope Patterns Differ among Bletilla Species (Orchidaceae)
J. Fungi 2021, 7(2), 69; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7020069 - 20 Jan 2021
Viewed by 519
Abstract
Orchids of the genus Bletilla are well-known ornamental plants and sources of traditional medicine in Asia that rely on the symbiotic relationship with root endophytic fungi throughout their whole life cycle. However, little is known about their fungal partners, infection pattern, and pathways [...] Read more.
Orchids of the genus Bletilla are well-known ornamental plants and sources of traditional medicine in Asia that rely on the symbiotic relationship with root endophytic fungi throughout their whole life cycle. However, little is known about their fungal partners, infection pattern, and pathways of carbon gain. We investigated carbon and nitrogen stable isotope patterns in different organs of three Bletilla species, identified the root endophytic fungal community composition, and determined mycorrhizal colonization rates. The three Bletilla species were comprised by a polyphyletic group which belongs to different trophic modes, such as saprotroph, pathotroph, and symbiotroph; however, the dominant species and their abundances varied among Bletilla spp. Mycorrhizal infection rates also varied among Bletilla species, with B. striata (65% ± 25%) being significantly higher than those of B. formosana (35% ± 16%) and B. ochracea (22% ± 13%). Compared with surrounding autotrophic plants, all Bletilla spp. were significantly enriched in 13C with B. striata to a significantly higher level than other two Bletilla species. Among different organs, stems had higher δ13C values, while leaves and flowers had higher δ15N and total N content values across all three species. Our results indicate that the symbiotic relationship of Bletilla and its root endophytic fungi is not strictly specific. Although mycorrhizal infection rates were highly variable, the three Bletilla species had the same infection pattern with hyphae penetrating the cortex cell by the pathway cell. Different Bletilla species have different strategies for C allocation among plant organs. These findings provide new insights into the ecological adaptation of orchids and will contribute to Bletilla germplasm conservation and sustainable utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi and Plants)
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Article
Metabarcoding of Soil Fungal Communities Associated with Alpine Field-Grown Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) Inoculated with AM Fungi
J. Fungi 2021, 7(1), 45; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7010045 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 888
Abstract
Soil fungi strongly influence ecosystem structure and functioning, playing a key role in many ecological services as decomposers, plant mutualists and pathogens. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) establish mutualistic symbiotic associations with plant roots and act as biofertilizers by enhancing plant nutrients and water [...] Read more.
Soil fungi strongly influence ecosystem structure and functioning, playing a key role in many ecological services as decomposers, plant mutualists and pathogens. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) establish mutualistic symbiotic associations with plant roots and act as biofertilizers by enhancing plant nutrients and water uptake. Information about the AMF association with Crocus sativus L. (saffron) and their impact on crop performances and spice quality has been increasing in recent years. Instead, there is still little data on the biodiversity of soil microbial communities associated with this crop in the Alpine environments. The aims of this study were to investigate the fungal communities of two Alpine experimental sites cultivated with saffron, and to rank the relative impact of two AMF inocula, applied to soil as single species (R = Rhizophagus intraradices, C. Walker & A. Schüßler) or a mixture of two species (M = R. intraradices and Funneliformis mosseae, C. Walker & A. Schüßler), on the resident fungal communities which might be influenced in their diversity and composition. We used Illumina MiSeq metabarcoding on nuclear ribosomal ITS2 region to characterize the fungal communities associated to Crocus sativus cultivation in two fields, located in the municipalities of Saint Christophe (SC) and Morgex (MG), (Aosta Valley, Italy), treated or not with AMF inocula and sampled for two consecutive years (Y1; Y2). Data analyses consistently indicated that Basidiomycota were particularly abundant in both sites and sampling years (Y1 and Y2). Significant differences in the distribution of fungal taxa assemblages at phylum and class levels between the two sites were also found. The main compositional differences consisted in significant abundance changes of OTUs belonging to Dothideomycetes and Leotiomycetes (Ascomycota), Agaricomycetes and Tremellomycetes (Basidiomycota), Mortierellomycetes and Mucoromycetes. Further differences concerned OTUs, of other classes, significantly represented only in the first or second year of sampling. Concerning Glomeromycota, the most represented genus was Claroideoglomus always detected in both sites and years. Other AMF genera such as Funneliformis, Septoglomus and Microdominikia, were retrieved only in MG site. Results highlighted that neither sites nor inoculation significantly impacted Alpine saffron-field fungal communities; instead, the year of sampling had the most appreciable influence on the resident communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi and Plants)
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Article
Morphological Characterization of the In Vitro Mycorrhizae Formed between Four Terfezia Species (Pezizaceae) with Cistus salviifolius and Cistus ladanifer—Towards Desert Truffles Production in Acid Soils
J. Fungi 2021, 7(1), 35; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof7010035 - 09 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 584
Abstract
Terfezia species are obligate symbiotic partners of several xerophytic host plants, mainly belonging to the Cistaceae. Yet, their mycorrhizal associations with members of the genus Cistus remain poorly characterized and their potential application in desert truffle cultivation remains unexplored. This work provides [...] Read more.
Terfezia species are obligate symbiotic partners of several xerophytic host plants, mainly belonging to the Cistaceae. Yet, their mycorrhizal associations with members of the genus Cistus remain poorly characterized and their potential application in desert truffle cultivation remains unexplored. This work provides the first anatomic descriptions of the mycorrhizae formed in vitro by four Terfezia species (i.e., T. arenaria; T. extremadurensis; T. fanfani, T. pini) with C. ladanifer and C. salviifolius, two of the most widespread and common Cistus species in acidic soils. All the tested associations resulted in the formation of ectomycorrhizae with well-developed Hartig net, but with a varying degree of mantle development. Our results also demonstrate that all the experimented Terfezia-Cistus combinations expressed high mycorrhization rates. Moreover, the present work shows that C. salviifolius and C. ladanifer are suitable plant hosts for Terfezia species, including some that are, to date, known to be only associated with annual herbs or tree species. This new evidence might aid in broadening the number of situations whereby Terfezia spp. can be cultivated in acid soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi and Plants)
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Article
The Application of Trichoderma Strains or Metabolites Alters the Olive Leaf Metabolome and the Expression of Defense-Related Genes
J. Fungi 2020, 6(4), 369; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof6040369 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 925
Abstract
Biocontrol fungal strains of the genus Trichoderma can antagonize numerous plant pathogens and promote plant growth using different mechanisms of action, including the production of secondary metabolites (SMs). In this work we analyzed the effects of repeated applications of selected Trichoderma strains or [...] Read more.
Biocontrol fungal strains of the genus Trichoderma can antagonize numerous plant pathogens and promote plant growth using different mechanisms of action, including the production of secondary metabolites (SMs). In this work we analyzed the effects of repeated applications of selected Trichoderma strains or SMs on young olive trees on the stimulation of plant growth and on the development of olive leaf spot disease caused by Fusicladium oleagineum. In addition, metabolomic analyses and gene expression profiles of olive leaves were carried out by LC–MS Q-TOF and real-time RT-PCR, respectively. A total of 104 phenolic compounds were detected from olive leave extracts and 20 were putatively identified. Targeted and untargeted approaches revealed significant differences in both the number and type of phenolic compounds accumulated in olive leaves after Trichoderma applications, as compared to water-treated plants. Different secoiridoids were less abundant in treated plants than in controls, while the accumulation of flavonoids (including luteolin and apigenin derivatives) increased following the application of specific Trichoderma strain. The induction of defense-related genes, and of genes involved in the synthesis of the secoiridoid oleuropein, was also analyzed and revealed a significant variation of gene expression according to the strain or metabolite applied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi and Plants)
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Article
Proteomic and Transcriptomic Analyses Indicate Metabolic Changes and Reduced Defense Responses in Mycorrhizal Roots of Oeceoclades maculata (Orchidaceae) Collected in Nature
J. Fungi 2020, 6(3), 148; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof6030148 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 980
Abstract
Orchids form endomycorrhizal associations with fungi mainly belonging to basidiomycetes. The molecular events taking place in orchid mycorrhiza are poorly understood, although the cellular changes necessary to accommodate the fungus and to control nutrient exchanges imply a modulation of gene expression. Here, we [...] Read more.
Orchids form endomycorrhizal associations with fungi mainly belonging to basidiomycetes. The molecular events taking place in orchid mycorrhiza are poorly understood, although the cellular changes necessary to accommodate the fungus and to control nutrient exchanges imply a modulation of gene expression. Here, we used proteomics and transcriptomics to identify changes in the steady-state levels of proteins and transcripts in the roots of the green terrestrial orchid Oeceoclades maculata. When mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal roots from the same individuals were compared, 94 proteins showed differential accumulation using the label-free protein quantitation approach, 86 using isobaric tagging and 60 using 2D-differential electrophoresis. After de novo assembly of transcriptomic data, 11,179 plant transcripts were found to be differentially expressed, and 2175 were successfully annotated. The annotated plant transcripts allowed the identification of up- and down-regulated metabolic pathways. Overall, proteomics and transcriptomics revealed, in mycorrhizal roots, increased levels of transcription factors and nutrient transporters, as well as ethylene-related proteins. The expression pattern of proteins and transcripts involved in plant defense responses suggested that plant defense was reduced in O. maculata mycorrhizal roots sampled in nature. These results expand our current knowledge towards a better understanding of the orchid mycorrhizal symbiosis in adult plants under natural conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi and Plants)
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Article
Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Inoculation of Sphaerosporella brunnea Significantly Increased Stem Biomass of Salix miyabeana and Decreased Lead, Tin, and Zinc, Soil Concentrations during the Phytoremediation of an Industrial Landfill
J. Fungi 2020, 6(2), 87; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof6020087 - 16 Jun 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1405
Abstract
Fast growing, high biomass willows (Salix sp.) have been extensively used for the phytoremediation of trace element-contaminated environments, as they have an extensive root system and they tolerate abiotic stressors such as drought and metal toxicity. Being dual mycorrhizal plants, they can [...] Read more.
Fast growing, high biomass willows (Salix sp.) have been extensively used for the phytoremediation of trace element-contaminated environments, as they have an extensive root system and they tolerate abiotic stressors such as drought and metal toxicity. Being dual mycorrhizal plants, they can engage single or simultaneous symbiotic associations with both arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi, which can improve overall plant health and growth. The aim of this study was to test the effect of these mycorrhizal fungi on the growth and trace element (TE) extraction potential of willows. A field experiment was carried out where we grew Salix miyabeana clone SX67 on the site of a decommissioned industrial landfill, and inoculated the shrubs with an AM fungus Rhizophagus irregularis, an EM fungus Sphaerosporella brunnea, or a mixture of both. After two growing seasons, the willows inoculated with the EM fungus S. brunnea produced significantly higher biomass. Ba, Cd and Zn were found to be phytoextracted to the aerial plant biomass, where Cd presented the highest bioconcentration factor values in all treatments. Additionally, the plots where the willows received the S. brunnea inoculation showed a significant decrease of Cu, Pb, and Sn soil concentrations. AM fungi inoculation and dual inoculation did not significantly influence biomass production and soil TE levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi and Plants)
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Article
Native Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Characterization from Saline Lands in Arid Oases, Northwest China
J. Fungi 2020, 6(2), 80; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jof6020080 - 06 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1107
Abstract
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) colonize land plants in almost every ecosystem, even in extreme conditions, such as saline soils. In the present work, we report the mycorrhizal capacity of rhizosphere soils collected in the dry desert region of the Minqin Oasis, located in [...] Read more.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) colonize land plants in almost every ecosystem, even in extreme conditions, such as saline soils. In the present work, we report the mycorrhizal capacity of rhizosphere soils collected in the dry desert region of the Minqin Oasis, located in the northwest of China (Gansu province), which is characterized by several halophytes. Lycium spp. and Peganum nigellastrum were used as trap plants in a greenhouse experiment to identify autochthonous AMF associated with the halophytes’ rhizospheres. Morphological observations showed the typical AMF structures inside roots. Twenty-six molecularly distinct AMF taxa were recovered from soil and root DNA. The taxonomical diversity mirrors the several AMF adapted to extreme environmental conditions, such as the saline soil of central China. Knowledge of the AMF associated with halophytes may contribute to select specific fungal isolates to set up agriculture strategies for protecting non-halophyte crop plants in saline soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi and Plants)
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