Plant hosts may influence arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community composition in mangrove estuaries

Deepika, Sharma and Kothamasi, David (2021) Plant hosts may influence arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community composition in mangrove estuaries. Mycorrhiza, 31 (6). pp. 699-711. ISSN 1432-1890 (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00572-021-01049-y)

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Abstract

We investigated the role of plant host and soil variables in determining arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) community composition in plant roots of two spatially separated mangrove estuaries on the rivers Aghanashini (14° 30′ 30″ N–74° 22′ 44″ E) and Gangavali (14° 35′ 26″ N–74° 17′ 51″ E) on the west coast of India. Both mangrove estuaries had similar plant species composition but differed in soil chemistries. We amplified a 550-bp portion of 18S small subunit (SSU) rDNA from mangrove plant roots and analysed it by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Clones representing unique RFLP patterns were sequenced. A total of 736 clones were obtained from roots of seven and five plant species sampled at Aghanashini and Gangavali, respectively. AMF phylotype numbers in plant roots at Aghanashini (12) were higher than at Gangavali (9) indicating quantitative differences in the AMF community composition in plant roots at the two mangrove estuaries. Because both estuaries had similar plant species composition, the quantitative difference in AMF communities between the estuaries could be an attribute of the differences in rhizospheric chemistry between the two sites. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) revealed overlap in the AMF communities of the two sites. Three and two AMF phylotypes had significant indicator value indices with specific hosts at Aghanashini and Gangavali, respectively. Environmental vector fitting to NMDS ordination did not reveal a significant effect of any soil variable on AMF composition at the two sites. However, significant effects of both plant hosts and sites were observed on rhizospheric P. Our results indicate that root AMF community composition may be an outcome of plant response to rhizospheric variables. This suggests that plant identity may have a primary role in shaping AMF communities in mangroves.

ORCID iDs

Deepika, Sharma and Kothamasi, David ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6344-9249;