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Research article2007Peer reviewedOpen access

Influence of arbuscular mycorrhizal mycelial exudates on soil bacterial growth and community structure

Toljander JF, Lindahl BD, Paul LR, Elfstrand M, Finlay RD


Plant root systems colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi have previously been shown to influence soil bacterial populations; however, the direct influence of the AM extraradical mycelium itself on bacterial growth and community composition is not well understood. In this study, we investigated the effects of exudates produced by AM extraradical mycelia on the growth and development of an extracted soil bacterial community in vitro. The chemical composition of the mycelial exudates was analysed using proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry. Following the addition of exudates to a bacterial community extracted from soil, bacterial growth and vitality were determined using a bacterial vitality stain and fluorescence microscopy. Changes in community composition were also analysed at various times over the course of 3 days by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, in combination with cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Mycelial exudates increased bacterial growth and vitality and changed bacterial community composition. Several Gammaproteobacteria, including a taxon within the Enterobacteriaceae, increased in frequency of occurrence in response to AM mycelial exudates. This study is the first attempt to identify carbohydrates from the extraradical mycelium of an AM fungus, and demonstrates the direct effects of mycelial exudates on a soil bacterial community


arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM); extraradical mycelium; exudates; TRFLP; soil bacteria; bacterial community

Published in

FEMS Microbiology Ecology
2007, Volume: 61, number: 2, pages: 295-304 Publisher: BLACKWELL PUBLISHING