Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Pervasive associations between dark septate endophytic fungi with tree root and soil microbiomes across Europe

Netherway, Tarquin; Bengtsson, Jan; Buegger, Franz; Fritscher, Joachim; Oja, Jane; Pritsch, Karin; Hildebrand, Falk; Krab, Eveline J.; Bahram, Mohammad

Abstract

Trees interact with a multitude of microbes through their roots and root symbionts such as mycorrhizal fungi and root endophytes. Here, we explore the role of fungal root symbionts as predictors of the soil and root-associated microbiomes of widespread broad-leaved trees across a European latitudinal gradient. Our results suggest that, alongside factors such as climate, soil, and vegetation properties, root colonization by ectomycorrhizal, arbuscular mycorrhizal, and dark septate endophytic fungi also shapes tree-associated microbiomes. Notably, the structure of root and soil microbiomes across our sites is more strongly and consistently associated with dark septate endophyte colonization than with mycorrhizal colonization and many abiotic factors. Root colonization by dark septate endophytes also has a consistent negative association with the relative abundance and diversity of nutrient cycling genes. Our study not only indicates that root-symbiotic interactions are an important factor structuring soil communities and functions in forest ecosystems, but also that the hitherto less studied dark septate endophytes are likely to be central players in these interactions.While mycorrhizal-plant interactions are widely studied, other root symbionts may also be ecologically important. Here, the authors show that dark septate endophytes are a strong predictor of rhizosphere and associated soil microbiomes in broad-leaved tree across Europe.

Published in

Nature Communications
2024, Volume: 15, number: 1, article number: 159Publisher: NATURE PORTFOLIO