Publications by authors named "Petr Kohout"

33 Publications

PacBio sequencing of Glomeromycota rDNA: a novel amplicon covering all widely used ribosomal barcoding regions and its applicability in taxonomy and ecology of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

New Phytol 2021 07 1;231(1):490-499. Epub 2021 May 1.

Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Průhonice, CZ-252 43, Czech Republic.

There is no consensus barcoding region for determination of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) taxa. To overcome this obstacle, we have developed an approach to sequence an AMF marker within the ribosome-encoding operon (rDNA) that covers all three widely applied variable molecular markers. Using a nested PCR approach specific to AMF, we amplified a part (c. 2.5 kb) of the rDNA spanning the majority of the small subunit rRNA (SSU) gene, the complete internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and a part of the large subunit (LSU) rRNA gene. The PCR products were sequenced on the PacBio platform utilizing Single Molecule Real Time (SMRT) sequencing. Employing this method for selected environmental DNA samples, we were able to describe complex AMF communities consisting of various glomeromycotan lineages. We demonstrate the applicability of this new 2.5 kb approach to provide robust phylogenetic assignment of AMF lineages without known sequences from pure cultures and to consolidate information about AMF taxon distributions coming from three widely used barcoding regions into one integrative dataset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.17372DOI Listing
July 2021

Forest Microhabitat Affects Succession of Fungal Communities on Decomposing Fine Tree Roots.

Front Microbiol 2021 28;12:541583. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Pruhonice, Czechia.

Belowground litter derived from tree roots has been shown as a principal source of soil organic matter in coniferous forests. Fate of tree root necromass depends on fungal communities developing on the decaying roots. Local environmental conditions which affect composition of tree root mycobiome may also influence fungal communities developing on decaying tree roots. Here, we assessed fungal communities associated with decaying roots of decomposing in three microhabitats: soil with no vegetation, soil with ericoid shrubs cover, and deadwood, for a 2-year period. Forest microhabitat showed stronger effect on structuring fungal communities associated with decaying roots compared to living roots. Some ericoid mycorrhizal fungi showed higher relative abundance on decaying roots in soils under ericoid shrub cover, while saprotrophic fungi had higher relative abundance in roots decomposing inside deadwood. Regardless of the studied microhabitat, we observed decline of ectomycorrhizal fungi and increase of endophytic fungi during root decomposition. Interestingly, we found substantially more fungal taxa with unknown ecology in late stages of root decomposition, indicating that highly decomposed roots may represent so far overlooked niche for soil fungi. Our study shows the importance of microhabitats on the fate of the decomposing spruce roots.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.541583DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7876299PMC
January 2021

Temperature and pH define the realised niche space of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

New Phytol 2021 07 4;231(2):763-776. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

CIRAD, UPR Forêts et Sociétés, Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire.

The arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are a globally distributed group of soil organisms that play critical roles in ecosystem function. However, the ecological niches of individual AM fungal taxa are poorly understood. We collected > 300 soil samples from natural ecosystems worldwide and modelled the realised niches of AM fungal virtual taxa (VT; approximately species-level phylogroups). We found that environmental and spatial variables jointly explained VT distribution worldwide, with temperature and pH being the most important abiotic drivers, and spatial effects generally occurring at local to regional scales. While dispersal limitation could explain some variation in VT distribution, VT relative abundance was almost exclusively driven by environmental variables. Several environmental and spatial effects on VT distribution and relative abundance were correlated with phylogeny, indicating that closely related VT exhibit similar niche optima and widths. Major clades within the Glomeraceae exhibited distinct niche optima, Acaulosporaceae generally had niche optima in low pH and low temperature conditions, and Gigasporaceae generally had niche optima in high precipitation conditions. Identification of the realised niche space occupied by individual and phylogenetic groups of soil microbial taxa provides a basis for building detailed hypotheses about how soil communities respond to gradients and manipulation in ecosystems worldwide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.17240DOI Listing
July 2021

Symbiosis of isoetid plant species with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi under aquatic versus terrestrial conditions.

Mycorrhiza 2021 May 24;31(3):273-288. Epub 2021 Jan 24.

Institute of Botany, The Czech Academy of Sciences, 242 43, Průhonice, Czech Republic.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) colonize the roots of numerous aquatic and wetland plants, but the establishment and functioning of mycorrhizal symbiosis in submerged habitats have received only little attention. Three pot experiments were conducted to study the interaction of isoetid plants with native AMF. In the first experiment, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis did not establish in roots of Isoëtes echinospora and I. lacustris, while Littorella uniflora roots were highly colonized. Shoot and root biomass of L. uniflora were, however, not affected by AMF inoculation, and only one of nine AMF isolates significantly increased shoot P concentration. In the second experiment, we compared colonization by three Glomus tetrastratosum isolates of different cultivation history and origin (aquatic versus terrestrial) and their effects on L. uniflora growth and phosphorus nutrition under submerged versus terrestrial conditions. The submerged cultivation considerably slowed, but did not inhibit mycorrhizal root colonization, regardless of isolate identity. Inoculation with any AMF isolate improved plant growth and P uptake under terrestrial, but not submerged conditions. In the final experiment, we compared the communities of AMF established in two cultivation regimes of trap cultures with lake sediments, either submerged on L. uniflora or terrestrial on Zea mays. After 2-year cultivation, we did not detect a significant effect of cultivation regime on AMF community composition. In summary, although submerged conditions do not preclude the development of functional AM symbiosis, the contribution of these symbiotic fungi to the fitness of their hosts seems to be considerably less than under terrestrial conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00572-020-01017-yDOI Listing
May 2021

Response of soil fungal ecological guilds to global changes.

New Phytol 2021 01 3;229(2):656-658. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Institute of Microbiology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Vídeňská 1083, Prague, CZ-142 20, Czechia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.17054DOI Listing
January 2021

Production of Fungal Mycelia in a Temperate Coniferous Forest Shows Distinct Seasonal Patterns.

J Fungi (Basel) 2020 Sep 26;6(4). Epub 2020 Sep 26.

Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Vídeňská 1083, 14220 Prague, Czech Republic.

In temperate forests, climate seasonality restricts the photosynthetic activity of primary producers to the warm season from spring to autumn, while the cold season with temperatures below the freezing point represents a period of strongly reduced plant activity. Although soil microorganisms are active all-year-round, their expressions show seasonal patterns. This is especially visible on the ectomycorrhizal fungi, the most abundant guild of fungi in coniferous forests. We quantified the production of fungal mycelia using ingrowth sandbags in the organic layer of soil in temperate coniferous forest and analysed the composition of fungal communities in four consecutive seasons. We show that fungal biomass production is as low as 0.029 µg g of sand in December-March, while it reaches 0.122 µg g in June-September. The majority of fungi show distinct patterns of seasonal mycelial production, with most ectomycorrhizal fungi colonising ingrowth bags in the spring or summer, while the autumn and winter colonisation was mostly due to moulds. Our results indicate that fungal taxa differ in their seasonal patterns of mycelial production. Although fungal biomass turnover appears all-year-round, its rates are much faster in the period of plant activity than in the cold season.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jof6040190DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7712845PMC
September 2020

GlobalFungi, a global database of fungal occurrences from high-throughput-sequencing metabarcoding studies.

Sci Data 2020 07 13;7(1):228. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Vídeňská 1083, 14220, Praha 4, Czech Republic.

Fungi are key players in vital ecosystem services, spanning carbon cycling, decomposition, symbiotic associations with cultivated and wild plants and pathogenicity. The high importance of fungi in ecosystem processes contrasts with the incompleteness of our understanding of the patterns of fungal biogeography and the environmental factors that drive those patterns. To reduce this gap of knowledge, we collected and validated data published on the composition of soil fungal communities in terrestrial environments including soil and plant-associated habitats and made them publicly accessible through a user interface at https://globalfungi.com . The GlobalFungi database contains over 600 million observations of fungal sequences across > 17 000 samples with geographical locations and additional metadata contained in 178 original studies with millions of unique nucleotide sequences (sequence variants) of the fungal internal transcribed spacers (ITS) 1 and 2 representing fungal species and genera. The study represents the most comprehensive atlas of global fungal distribution, and it is framed in such a way that third-party data addition is possible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41597-020-0567-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7359306PMC
July 2020

Alien ectomycorrhizal plants differ in their ability to interact with co-introduced and native ectomycorrhizal fungi in novel sites.

ISME J 2020 09 4;14(9):2336-2346. Epub 2020 Jun 4.

Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Vídeňská 1083, CZ-142 20, Prague, Czech Republic.

Alien plants represent a potential threat to environment and society. Understanding the process of alien plants naturalization is therefore of primary importance. In alien plants, successful establishment can be constrained by the absence of suitable fungal partners. Here, we used 42 independent datasets of ectomycorrhizal fungal (EcMF) communities associated with alien Pinaceae and Eucalyptus spp., as the most commonly introduced tree species worldwide, to explore the strategies these plant groups utilize to establish symbioses with EcMF in the areas of introduction. We have also determined the differences in composition of EcMF communities associated with alien ectomycorrhizal plants in different regions. While alien Pinaceae introduced to new regions rely upon association with co-introduced EcMF, alien Eucalyptus often form novel interactions with EcMF species native to the region where the plant was introduced. The region of origin primarily determines species composition of EcMF communities associated with alien Pinaceae in new areas, which may largely affect invasion potential of the alien plants. Our study shows that alien ectomycorrhizal plants largely differ in their ability to interact with co-introduced and native ectomycorrhizal fungi in sites of introduction, which may potentially affect their invasive potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41396-020-0692-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7608243PMC
September 2020

Altered rhizoctonia assemblages in grasslands on ex-arable land support germination of mycorrhizal generalist, not specialist orchids.

New Phytol 2020 08 22;227(4):1200-1212. Epub 2020 May 22.

Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 1760, 37005, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.

Species-rich seminatural grasslands in Central Europe have suffered a dramatic loss of biodiversity due to conversion to arable land, but vast areas are being restored. Population recovery of orchids, which depend on mycorrhizal fungi for germination, is however limited. We hypothesised that ploughing and fertilisation caused shifts in orchid mycorrhizal communities in soil and restricted orchid germination. We examined edaphic conditions in 60 restored and seminatural grasslands, and germination success in 10 restored grasslands. Using a newly designed primer, we screened the composition of rhizoctonias in soil, seedlings and roots of seven orchid species. Seminatural and restored grasslands differed significantly in nutrient amounts and rhizoctonia assemblages in soil. While Serendipitaceae prevailed in seminatural grasslands with a higher organic matter content, Ceratobasidiaceae were more frequent in phosphorus-rich restored grasslands with increased abundance on younger restored sites. Tulasnellaceae displayed no preference. Germination success in restored grasslands differed significantly between orchid species; two mycorrhizal generalist species germinated with a broad range of rhizoctonias at most restored grasslands, while germination success of specialists was low. Past agricultural practices have a long-lasting effect on soil conditions and orchid mycorrhizal communities. Altered mycorrhizal availability may be the main reason for low germination success of specialist orchid species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.16604DOI Listing
August 2020

Early successional ectomycorrhizal fungi are more likely to naturalize outside their native range than other ectomycorrhizal fungi.

New Phytol 2020 09 18;227(5):1289-1293. Epub 2020 Apr 18.

Institute of Microbiology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Vídeňská 1083, CZ-142 20, Prague, Czech Republic.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.16557DOI Listing
September 2020

A meta-analysis of global fungal distribution reveals climate-driven patterns.

Nat Commun 2019 11 13;10(1):5142. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Vídeňská 1083, 14220, Praha 4, Czech Republic.

The evolutionary and environmental factors that shape fungal biogeography are incompletely understood. Here, we assemble a large dataset consisting of previously generated mycobiome data linked to specific geographical locations across the world. We use this dataset to describe the distribution of fungal taxa and to look for correlations with different environmental factors such as climate, soil and vegetation variables. Our meta-study identifies climate as an important driver of different aspects of fungal biogeography, including the global distribution of common fungi as well as the composition and diversity of fungal communities. In our analysis, fungal diversity is concentrated at high latitudes, in contrast with the opposite pattern previously shown for plants and other organisms. Mycorrhizal fungi appear to have narrower climatic tolerances than pathogenic fungi. We speculate that climate change could affect ecosystem functioning because of the narrow climatic tolerances of key fungal taxa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13164-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6853883PMC
November 2019

Sympatric diploid and tetraploid cytotypes of Centaurea stoebe s.l. do not differ in arbuscular mycorrhizal communities and mycorrhizal growth response.

Am J Bot 2018 12 14;105(12):1995-2007. Epub 2018 Dec 14.

Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Benátská 2, CZ-128 01, Prague, Czech Republic.

Premise Of The Study: Genome duplication is associated with multiple changes at different levels, including interactions with pollinators and herbivores. Yet little is known whether polyploidy may also shape belowground interactions.

Methods: To elucidate potential ploidy-specific interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), we compared mycorrhizal colonization and assembly of AMF communities in roots of diploid and tetraploid Centaurea stoebe s.l. (Asteraceae) co-occurring in a Central European population. In a follow-up greenhouse experiment, we tested inter-cytotype differences in mycorrhizal growth response by combining ploidy, substrate, and inoculation with native AMF in a full-factorial design.

Key Results: All sampled plants were highly colonized by AMF, with the Glomeraceae predominating. AMF-community composition revealed by 454-pyrosequencing reflected the spatial distribution of the hosts, but not their ploidy level or soil characteristics. In the greenhouse experiment, the tetraploids produced more shoot biomass than the diploids did when grown in a more fertile substrate, while no inter-cytotype differences were found in a less fertile substrate. AMF inoculation significantly reduced plant growth and improved P uptake, but its effects did not differ between the cytotypes.

Conclusions: The results do not support our hypotheses that the cytotype structure in a mixed-ploidy population of C. stoebe is mirrored in AMF-community composition and that ploidy-specific fungal communities contribute to cytotype co-existence. Causes and implications of the observed negative growth response to AMF are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.1206DOI Listing
December 2018

Diversity of fungi and bacteria in species-rich grasslands increases with plant diversity in shoots but not in roots and soil.

FEMS Microbiol Ecol 2019 01;95(1)

Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology of the CAS, v. v. i., Vídenská 1083, 14220 Praha 4, Czech Republic.

Microbial communities in roots and shoots of plants and in soil are important for plant growth and health and take part in important ecosystem processes. Therefore, understanding the factors that affect their diversity is important. We have analyzed fungal and bacterial communities associated with plant shoots, roots and soil over a 1 km2 area in a semi-natural temperate grassland with 1-43 plant species per 0.1 m2, to describe the relationships between plant and microbial diversity and to identify the drivers of bacterial and fungal community composition. Microbial community composition differed between shoots, roots and soil. While both fungal and bacterial species richness in shoots increased with plant species richness, no correlation was found between plant and microbial diversity in roots and soil. Chemistry was a significant predictor of bacterial and fungal community composition in soil as was also the spatial location of the sampled site. In this species-rich grassland, the effects of plants on the microbiome composition seemed to be restricted to the shoot-associated taxa; in contrast, the microbiomes of roots or soil were not affected. The results support our hypothesis that the effect of plants on the microbiome composition decreases from shoots to roots and soil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiy208DOI Listing
January 2019

Clearcutting alters decomposition processes and initiates complex restructuring of fungal communities in soil and tree roots.

ISME J 2018 03 15;12(3):692-703. Epub 2018 Jan 15.

Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology of the CAS, Vídeňská 1083, 142 20, Praha 4, Czech Republic.

Forest management practices often severely affect forest ecosystem functioning. Tree removal by clearcutting is one such practice, producing severe impacts due to the total reduction of primary productivity. Here, we assessed changes to fungal community structure and decomposition activity in the soil, roots and rhizosphere of a Picea abies stand for a 2-year period following clearcutting compared to data from before tree harvest. We found that the termination of photosynthate flow through tree roots into soil is associated with profound changes in soil, both in decomposition processes and fungal community composition. The rhizosphere, representing an active compartment of high enzyme activity and high fungal biomass in the living stand, ceases to exist and starts to resemble bulk soil. Decomposing roots appear to separate from bulk soil and develop into hotspots of decomposition and important fungal biomass pools. We found no support for the involvement of ectomycorrhizal fungi in the decomposition of roots, but we found some evidence that root endophytic fungi may have an important role in the early stages of this process. In soil, activity of extracellular enzymes also decreased in the long term following the end of rhizodeposition by tree roots.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41396-017-0027-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5864242PMC
March 2018

Host preference and network properties in biotrophic plant-fungal associations.

New Phytol 2018 02 22;217(3):1230-1239. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

Natural History Museum, University of Tartu, 14a Ravila, 50411, Tartu, Estonia.

Analytical methods can offer insights into the structure of biological networks, but mechanisms that determine the structure of these networks remain unclear. We conducted a synthesis based on 111 previously published datasets to assess a range of ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that may influence the plant-associated fungal interaction networks. We calculated the relative host effect on fungal community composition and compared nestedness and modularity among different mycorrhizal types and endophytic fungal guilds. We also assessed how plant-fungal network structure was related to host phylogeny, environmental and sampling properties. Orchid mycorrhizal fungal communities responded most strongly to host identity, but the effect of host was similar among all other fungal guilds. Community nestedness, which did not differ among fungal guilds, declined significantly with increasing mean annual precipitation on a global scale. Orchid and ericoid mycorrhizal fungal communities were more modular than ectomycorrhizal and root endophytic communities, with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in an intermediate position. Network properties among a broad suite of plant-associated fungi were largely comparable and generally unrelated to phylogenetic distance among hosts. Instead, network metrics were predominantly affected by sampling and matrix properties, indicating the importance of study design in properly inferring ecological patterns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.14895DOI Listing
February 2018

Asymmetric response of root-associated fungal communities of an arbuscular mycorrhizal grass and an ectomycorrhizal tree to their coexistence in primary succession.

Mycorrhiza 2017 Nov 27;27(8):775-789. Epub 2017 Jul 27.

Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences, Zámek 1, 252 43, Průhonice, Czech Republic.

The arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) grass Calamagrostis epigejos and predominantly ectomycorrhizal (EcM) tree Salix caprea co-occur at post-mining sites spontaneously colonized by vegetation. During succession, AM herbaceous vegetation is replaced by predominantly EcM woody species. To better understand the interaction of AM and EcM plants during vegetation transition, we studied the reciprocal effects of these species' coexistence on their root-associated fungi (RAF). We collected root and soil samples from three different microenvironments: stand of C. epigejos, under S. caprea canopy, and contact zone where roots of the two species interacted. RAF communities and mycorrhizal colonization were determined in sampled roots, and the soil was tested for EcM and AM inoculation potentials. Although the microenvironment significantly affected composition of the RAF communities in both plant species, the effect was greater in the case of C. epigejos RAF communities than in that of S. caprea RAF communities. The presence of S. caprea also significantly decreased AM fungal abundance in soil as well as AM colonization and richness of AM fungi in C. epigejos roots. Changes observed in the abundance and community composition of AM fungi might constitute an important factor in transition from AM-dominated to EcM-dominated vegetation during succession.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00572-017-0792-xDOI Listing
November 2017

Interactions of saprotrophic fungi with tree roots: can we observe the emergence of novel ectomycorrhizal fungi?

New Phytol 2017 07;215(2):511-513

Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology of the CAS, Vídeňská 1083, 14220, Prague 4, Czech Republic.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.14665DOI Listing
July 2017

Plant Communities Rather than Soil Properties Structure Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities along Primary Succession on a Mine Spoil.

Front Microbiol 2017 20;8:719. Epub 2017 Apr 20.

Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPrůhonice, Czechia.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) community assembly during primary succession has so far received little attention. It remains therefore unclear, which of the factors, driving AMF community composition, are important during ecosystem development. We addressed this question on a large spoil heap, which provides a mosaic of sites in different successional stages under different managements. We selected 24 sites of 12, 20, 30, or 50 years in age, including sites with spontaneously developing vegetation and sites reclaimed by alder plantations. On each site, we sampled twice a year roots of the perennial rhizomatous grass (Poaceae) to determine AMF root colonization and diversity (using 454-sequencing), determined the soil chemical properties and composition of plant communities. AMF taxa richness was unaffected by site age, but AMF composition variation increased along the chronosequences. AMF communities were unaffected by soil chemistry, but related to the composition of neighboring plant communities of the sampled plants. In contrast, the plant communities of the sites were more distinctively structured than the AMF communities along the four successional stages. We conclude that AMF and plant community successions respond to different factors. AMF communities seem to be influenced by biotic rather than by abiotic factors and to diverge with successional age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.00719DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5397529PMC
April 2017

Effect of soil moisture on root-associated fungal communities of Erica dominans in Drakensberg mountains in South Africa.

Mycorrhiza 2017 May 12;27(4):397-406. Epub 2017 Jan 12.

Natural History Museum, University of Tartu, 50411, Tartu, Estonia.

Ericoid mycorrhiza represents a key adaptation of the Ericaceae plants to facilitate their establishment in harsh conditions. The Ericaceae are a large family of flowering plants, with global distribution. However, our current knowledge about the ericoid mycorrhizal fungal diversity and ecology largely relates to the Northern Hemisphere. Our study focused on the assembly of root-associated fungal (RAF) communities of Erica dominans in two types of microhabitats of contrasting moisture along an elevation gradient in Drakensberg mountains in South Africa. RAF communities were determined by 454-sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of ribosomal DNA. The majority of RAF showed affinity to the orders Helotiales, Pezizales, and Pleosporales. Microhabitat type as well as elevation had significant but weak effect on RAF community composition. We identified two putative ericoid mycorrhizal fungi, the ecological niches of which were differentiated between the studied microhabitats. Our study also provides one of the first comprehensive data about RAF communities of Ericaceae on African continent and shows the occurrence of the most studied ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Pezoloma ericae (belonging to P. ericae aggregate) in roots of Ericaceae host plant in Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00572-017-0760-5DOI Listing
May 2017

Local-scale spatial structure and community composition of orchid mycorrhizal fungi in semi-natural grasslands.

Mycorrhiza 2017 May 30;27(4):355-367. Epub 2016 Dec 30.

Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, 14A Ravila, 50411, Tartu, Estonia.

Orchid mycorrhizal (OrM) fungi play a crucial role in the ontogeny of orchids, yet little is known about how the structure of OrM fungal communities varies with space and environmental factors. Previous studies suggest that within orchid patches, the distance to adult orchids may affect the abundance of OrM fungi. Many orchid species grow in species-rich temperate semi-natural grasslands, the persistence of which depends on moderate physical disturbances, such as grazing and mowing. The aim of this study was to test whether the diversity, structure and composition of OrM fungal community are influenced by the orchid patches and management intensity in semi-natural grasslands. We detected putative OrM fungi from 0 to 32 m away from the patches of host orchid species (Orchis militaris and Platanthera chlorantha) in 21 semi-natural calcareous grasslands using pyrosequencing. In addition, we assessed different ecological conditions in semi-natural grasslands but primarily focused on the effect of grazing intensity on OrM fungal communities in soil. We found that investigated orchid species were mostly associated with Ceratobasidiaceae and Tulasnellaceae and, to a lesser extent, with Sebacinales. Of all the examined factors, the intensity of grazing explained the largest proportion of variation in OrM fungal as well as total fungal community composition in soil. Spatial analyses showed limited evidence for spatial clustering of OrM fungi and their dependence on host orchids. Our results indicate that habitat management can shape OrM fungal communities, and the spatial distribution of these fungi appears to be weakly structured outside the orchid patches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00572-016-0755-7DOI Listing
May 2017

Stochastic distribution of small soil eukaryotes resulting from high dispersal and drift in a local environment.

ISME J 2016 Apr 22;10(4):885-96. Epub 2015 Sep 22.

Natural History Museum, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

A central challenge in ecology is to understand the relative importance of processes that shape diversity patterns. Compared with aboveground biota, little is known about spatial patterns and processes in soil organisms. Here we examine the spatial structure of communities of small soil eukaryotes to elucidate the underlying stochastic and deterministic processes in the absence of environmental gradients at a local scale. Specifically, we focus on the fine-scale spatial autocorrelation of prominent taxonomic and functional groups of eukaryotic microbes. We collected 123 soil samples in a nested design at distances ranging from 0.01 to 64 m from three boreal forest sites and used 454 pyrosequencing analysis of Internal Transcribed Spacer for detecting Operational Taxonomic Units of major eukaryotic groups simultaneously. Among the main taxonomic groups, we found significant but weak spatial variability only in the communities of Fungi and Rhizaria. Within Fungi, ectomycorrhizas and pathogens exhibited stronger spatial structure compared with saprotrophs and corresponded to vegetation. For the groups with significant spatial structure, autocorrelation occurred at a very fine scale (<2 m). Both dispersal limitation and environmental selection had a weak effect on communities as reflected in negative or null deviation of communities, which was also supported by multivariate analysis, that is, environment, spatial processes and their shared effects explained on average <10% of variance. Taken together, these results indicate a random distribution of soil eukaryotes with respect to space and environment in the absence of environmental gradients at the local scale, reflecting the dominant role of drift and homogenizing dispersal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2015.164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4796928PMC
April 2016

The potential of Dark Septate Endophytes to form root symbioses with ectomycorrhizal and ericoid mycorrhizal middle European forest plants.

PLoS One 2015 23;10(4):e0124752. Epub 2015 Apr 23.

Department of Plant Experimental Biology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic; Department of Mycorrhizal Symbioses, Institute of Botany ASCR, Průhonice, Czech Republic.

The unresolved ecophysiological significance of Dark Septate Endophytes (DSE) may be in part due to existence of morphologically indistinguishable cryptic species in the most common Phialocephala fortinii s. l.--Acephala applanata species complex (PAC). We inoculated three middle European forest plants (European blueberry, Norway spruce and silver birch) with 16 strains of eight PAC cryptic species and other DSE and ectomycorrhizal/ericoid mycorrhizal fungi and focused on intraradical structures possibly representing interfaces for plant-fungus nutrient transfer and on host growth response. The PAC species Acephala applanata simultaneously formed structures resembling ericoid mycorrhiza (ErM) and DSE microsclerotia in blueberry. A. macrosclerotiorum, a close relative to PAC, formed ectomycorrhizae with spruce but not with birch, and structures resembling ErM in blueberry. Phialocephala glacialis, another close relative to PAC, formed structures resembling ErM in blueberry. In blueberry, six PAC strains significantly decreased dry shoot biomass compared to ErM control. In birch, one A. macrosclerotiorum strain increased root biomass and the other shoot biomass in comparison with non-inoculated control. The dual mycorrhizal ability of A. macrosclerotiorum suggested that it may form mycorrhizal links between Ericaceae and Pinaceae. However, we were unable to detect this species in Ericaceae roots growing in a forest with presence of A. macrosclerotiorum ectomycorrhizae. Nevertheless, the diversity of Ericaceae mycobionts was high (380 OTUs) with individual sites often dominated by hitherto unreported helotialean and chaetothyrialean/verrucarialean species; in contrast, typical ErM fungi were either absent or low in abundance. Some DSE apparently have a potential to form mycorrhizae with typical middle European forest plants. However, except A. applanata, the tested representatives of all hitherto described PAC cryptic species formed typical DSE colonization without specific structures necessary for mycorrhizal nutrient transport. A. macrosclerotiorum forms ectomycorrhiza with conifers but not with broadleaves and probably does not form common mycorrhizal networks between conifers with Ericaceae.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0124752PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4408093PMC
January 2016

Niche partitioning in arbuscular mycorrhizal communities in temperate grasslands: a lesson from adjacent serpentine and nonserpentine habitats.

Mol Ecol 2015 Apr;24(8):1831-43

Institute of Botany, The Czech Academy of Science, CZ-252 43, Průhonice, Czech Republic; Department of Botany, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, EE-510 05, Tartu, Estonia; Department of Experimental Plant Biology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, CZ-128 44, Prague 2, Czech Republic.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) represent an important soil microbial group playing a fundamental role in many terrestrial ecosystems. We explored the effects of deterministic (soil characteristics, host plant life stage, neighbouring plant communities) and stochastic processes on AMF colonization, richness and community composition in roots of Knautia arvensis (Dipsacaceae) plants from three serpentine grasslands and adjacent nonserpentine sites. Methodically, the study was based on 454-sequencing of the ITS region of rDNA. In total, we detected 81 molecular taxonomical operational units (MOTUs) belonging to the Glomeromycota. Serpentine character of the site negatively influenced AMF root colonization, similarly as higher Fe concentration. AMF MOTUs richness linearly increased along a pH gradient from 3.5 to 5.8. Contrary, K and Cr soil concentration had a negative influence on AMF MOTUs richness. We also detected a strong relation between neighbouring plant community composition and AMF MOTUs richness. Although spatial distance between the sampled sites (c. 0.3-3 km) contributed to structuring AMF communities in K. arvensis roots, environmental parameters were key factors in this respect. In particular, the composition of AMF communities was shaped by the complex of serpentine conditions, pH and available soil Ni concentration. The composition of AMF communities was also dependent on host plant life stage (vegetative vs. generative). Our study supports the dominance of deterministic factors in structuring AMF communities in heterogeneous environment composed of an edaphic mosaic of serpentine and nonserpentine soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.13147DOI Listing
April 2015

Temporal patterns of orchid mycorrhizal fungi in meadows and forests as revealed by 454 pyrosequencing.

New Phytol 2015 Mar 24;205(4):1608-1618. Epub 2014 Dec 24.

Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, 14A Ravila, 50411, Tartu, Estonia.

Orchid mycorrhizal (OrM) symbionts play a key role in the growth of orchids, but the temporal variation and habitat partitioning of these fungi in roots and soil remain unclear. Temporal changes in root and rhizosphere fungal communities of Cypripedium calceolus, Neottia ovata and Orchis militaris were studied in meadow and forest habitats over the vegetation period by using 454 pyrosequencing of the full internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. The community of typical OrM symbionts differed by plant species and habitats. The root fungal community of N. ovata changed significantly in time, but this was not observed in C. calceolus and O. militaris. The rhizosphere community included a low proportion of OrM symbionts that exhibited a slight temporal turnover in meadow habitats but not in forests. Habitat differences in OrM and all fungal associates are largely attributable to the greater proportion of ectomycorrhizal fungi in forests. Temporal changes in OrM fungal communities in roots of certain species indicate selection of suitable fungal species by plants. It remains to be elucidated whether these shifts depend on functional differences inside roots, seasonality, climate or succession.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.13223DOI Listing
March 2015

Fungal biogeography. Global diversity and geography of soil fungi.

Science 2014 Nov;346(6213):1256688

Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.

Fungi play major roles in ecosystem processes, but the determinants of fungal diversity and biogeographic patterns remain poorly understood. Using DNA metabarcoding data from hundreds of globally distributed soil samples, we demonstrate that fungal richness is decoupled from plant diversity. The plant-to-fungus richness ratio declines exponentially toward the poles. Climatic factors, followed by edaphic and spatial variables, constitute the best predictors of fungal richness and community composition at the global scale. Fungi show similar latitudinal diversity gradients to other organisms, with several notable exceptions. These findings advance our understanding of global fungal diversity patterns and permit integration of fungi into a general macroecological framework.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1256688DOI Listing
November 2014

Towards a unified paradigm for sequence-based identification of fungi.

Mol Ecol 2013 Nov 24;22(21):5271-7. Epub 2013 Sep 24.

Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Lai 40, Tartu, 51005, Estonia; Natural History Museum, University of Tartu, Vanemuise 46, Tartu, 51014, Estonia.

The nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region is the formal fungal barcode and in most cases the marker of choice for the exploration of fungal diversity in environmental samples. Two problems are particularly acute in the pursuit of satisfactory taxonomic assignment of newly generated ITS sequences: (i) the lack of an inclusive, reliable public reference data set and (ii) the lack of means to refer to fungal species, for which no Latin name is available in a standardized stable way. Here, we report on progress in these regards through further development of the UNITE database (http://unite.ut.ee) for molecular identification of fungi. All fungal species represented by at least two ITS sequences in the international nucleotide sequence databases are now given a unique, stable name of the accession number type (e.g. Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus|GU586904|SH133781.05FU), and their taxonomic and ecological annotations were corrected as far as possible through a distributed, third-party annotation effort. We introduce the term 'species hypothesis' (SH) for the taxa discovered in clustering on different similarity thresholds (97-99%). An automatically or manually designated sequence is chosen to represent each such SH. These reference sequences are released (http://unite.ut.ee/repository.php) for use by the scientific community in, for example, local sequence similarity searches and in the QIIME pipeline. The system and the data will be updated automatically as the number of public fungal ITS sequences grows. We invite everybody in the position to improve the annotation or metadata associated with their particular fungal lineages of expertise to do so through the new Web-based sequence management system in UNITE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.12481DOI Listing
November 2013

Soil nutritional status, not inoculum identity, primarily determines the effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on the growth of Knautia arvensis plants.

Mycorrhiza 2013 Oct 9;23(7):561-72. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 252 43, Průhonice, Czech Republic,

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis is among the factors contributing to plant survival in serpentine soils characterised by unfavourable physicochemical properties. However, AM fungi show a considerable functional diversity, which is further modified by host plant identity and edaphic conditions. To determine the variability among serpentine AM fungal isolates in their effects on plant growth and nutrition, a greenhouse experiment was conducted involving two serpentine and two non-serpentine populations of Knautia arvensis plants grown in their native substrates. The plants were inoculated with one of the four serpentine AM fungal isolates or with a complex AM fungal community native to the respective plant population. At harvest after 6-month cultivation, intraradical fungal development was assessed, AM fungal taxa established from native fungal communities were determined and plant growth and element uptake evaluated. AM symbiosis significantly improved the performance of all the K. arvensis populations. The extent of mycorrhizal growth promotion was mainly governed by nutritional status of the substrate, while the effect of AM fungal identity was negligible. Inoculation with the native AM fungal communities was not more efficient than inoculation with single AM fungal isolates in any plant population. Contrary to the growth effects, a certain variation among AM fungal isolates was revealed in terms of their effects on plant nutrient uptake, especially P, Mg and Ca, with none of the AM fungi being generally superior in this respect. Regardless of AM symbiosis, K. arvensis populations significantly differed in their relative nutrient accumulation ratios, clearly showing the plant's ability to adapt to nutrient deficiency/excess.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00572-013-0494-yDOI Listing
October 2013

Novel root-fungus symbiosis in Ericaceae: sheathed ericoid mycorrhiza formed by a hitherto undescribed basidiomycete with affinities to Trechisporales.

PLoS One 2012 25;7(6):e39524. Epub 2012 Jun 25.

Department of Mycorrhizal Symbioses, Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Průhonice, Czech Republic.

Ericaceae (the heath family) are widely distributed calcifuges inhabiting soils with inherently poor nutrient status. Ericaceae overcome nutrient limitation through symbiosis with ericoid mycorrhizal (ErM) fungi that mobilize nutrients complexed in recalcitrant organic matter. At present, recognized ErM fungi include a narrow taxonomic range within the Ascomycota, and the Sebacinales, basal Hymenomycetes with unclamped hyphae and imperforate parenthesomes. Here we describe a novel type of basidiomycetous ErM symbiosis, termed 'sheathed ericoid mycorrhiza', discovered in two habitats in mid-Norway as a co-dominant mycorrhizal symbiosis in Vaccinium spp. The basidiomycete forming sheathed ErM possesses clamped hyphae with perforate parenthesomes, produces 1- to 3-layer sheaths around terminal parts of hair roots and colonizes their rhizodermis intracellularly forming hyphal coils typical for ErM symbiosis. Two basidiomycetous isolates were obtained from sheathed ErM and molecular and phylogenetic tools were used to determine their identity; they were also examined for the ability to form sheathed ErM and lignocellulolytic potential. Surprisingly, ITS rDNA of both conspecific isolates failed to amplify with the most commonly used primer pairs, including ITS1 and ITS1F + ITS4. Phylogenetic analysis of nuclear LSU, SSU and 5.8S rDNA indicates that the basidiomycete occupies a long branch residing in the proximity of Trechisporales and Hymenochaetales, but lacks a clear sequence relationship (>90% similarity) to fungi currently placed in these orders. The basidiomycete formed the characteristic sheathed ErM symbiosis and enhanced growth of Vaccinium spp. in vitro, and degraded a recalcitrant aromatic substrate that was left unaltered by common ErM ascomycetes. Our findings provide coherent evidence that this hitherto undescribed basidiomycete forms a morphologically distinct ErM symbiosis that may occur at significant levels under natural conditions, yet remain undetected when subject to amplification by 'universal' primers. The lignocellulolytic assay suggests the basidiomycete may confer host adaptations distinct from those provisioned by the so far investigated ascomycetous ErM fungi.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0039524PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3382583PMC
March 2013

Ectomycorrhizal fungi of exotic pine plantations in relation to native host trees in Iran: evidence of host range expansion by local symbionts to distantly related host taxa.

Mycorrhiza 2013 Jan 17;23(1):11-9. Epub 2012 May 17.

Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, Tartu University, 40 Lai, 51005 Tartu, Estonia.

Introduction of exotic plants change soil microbial communities which may have detrimental ecological consequences for ecosystems. In this study, we examined the community structure and species richness of ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungi associated with exotic pine plantations in relation to adjacent native ectomycorrhizal trees in Iran to elucidate the symbiont exchange between distantly related hosts, i.e. Fagales (Fagaceae and Betulaceae) and Pinaceae. The combination of morphological and molecular identification approaches revealed that 84.6 % of species with more than one occurrence (at least once on pines) were shared with native trees and only 5.9 % were found exclusively on pine root tips. The community diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi in the pine plantations adjacent to native EcM trees was comparable to their adjacent native trees, but the isolated plantations hosted relatively a species-poor community. Specific mycobionts of conifers were dominant in the isolated plantation while rarely found in the plantations adjacent to native EcM trees. These data demonstrate the importance of habitat isolation and dispersal limitation of EcM fungi in their potential of host range expansion. The great number of shared and possibly compatible symbiotic species between exotic Pinaceae and local Fagales (Fagaceae and Betulaceae) may reflect their evolutionary adaptations and/or ancestral compatibility with one another.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00572-012-0445-zDOI Listing
January 2013