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Mycorrhizal diversity and interactions

Mycorrhizas are mutually beneficial symbioses between plant roots and soil fungi, which play a central role in the uptake of nutrients by almost all plant groups. The arbuscular mycorrhizas are formed between Glomalean fungi and a wide variety of angiosperm and gymnosperm plant hosts. These fungi are important in crop nutrient acquisition, particularly in low input agriculture. Ectomycorrhizal associations are formed between basidiomycete and ascomycete fungi and many tree families, including commercial forest species. NERC funded research aims to understand management and soil properties controlling the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus communities in agricultural soils.

Dr Chris van der Gast, CEH Wallingford
Dr Niall McNamara, CEH Lancaster

Rhizosphere Publications (since 2009)

Gosling, P., Proctor, M., Jones, J., Bending, G.D. Distribution and diversity of Paraglomus spp. in tilled agricultural soils. Mycorrhiza (in press)

Taylor, A, walker C. Bending, G.D. (2013) Dimorphic spore production in the genus Acaulospora. Mycoscience (in press)

Aspray,T.J., Jones, E.E, Davies, M.W., Shipman, M., Bending, G.D. (2013) Increased hyphal branching and growth of ectomycorrhizal fungus Lactarius rufus by the helper bacterium Paenibacillus sp. Mycorrhiza (in press)

Gosling P., Mead, A. Proctor, M., Hammond, J., Spracklen, W., Bending, G.D. (2013) Contrasting arbuscular mycorrhizal communities colonising different host plants show a similar response to a soil phosphorus concentration gradient. New Phytologist 198, 546-556.

Hilton, S., Bennett, A.J., Keane, G., Bending, G.D., Chandler, D., Stobart, R., Mills, P.C. (2013) Impact of shortened crop rotation of oilseed rape on soil and rhizosphere microbial diversity in relation to yield decline PLOS One 8, e59859.

Hazard, C., Gosling, P., Mitchell, D.T., Doohan, F.M., Bending, G.D. (2013) Landscape-scale distribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities is affected by the local environment, but not geographical distance. ISME Journal 7, 498-508.

Perez-Brandan, C., Arzeno, J.L., Huidobro, J., Grumberg, B., Conforto, C., Hilton, S., Bending, G.D., Meriles, J.M., Vargas-Gil, S. (2012) Long-term effect of tillage systems on soil microbiological, chemical and physical parameters and the incidence of charcoal rot by Macrophomina phaseoline (Tassi) Goid in soybean. Crop Protection 40, 73-82

Keith, AM, Boots, B., Hazard, C., Niechoj, R., Arroyo, J., Bending, G.D., Bolger, T., Breen, J., Clipson, N., Doohan, F.M., Griffin, C.T., Schmidt, O. (2012) Cross-taxa congruence, indicators and environmental drivers in soils under agricultural and extensive land management. European Journal of Soil Biology 49, 55-62.

Rooney, D.C., Prosser, J. I., Bending, G. D., Baggs, E. M., Killham, K., Hodge A. (2012) Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal colonisation on the growth and phosphorus nutrition of Populus euramericana c.v. Ghoy. Biomass and Bioenergy 35, 4605-4612.

Bennett, A., Bending, G.D., Chandler, D., Hilton, S., Mills, P.M. (2012) Meeting the demand for crop production: The challenge of yield decline in crops grown in short rotations. Biological Reviews 87, 52-71.

van der Gast, C.J., Gosling, P. Tiwari, B, Rayns, F., Bending, G.D. (2011) Spatial scaling of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity is affected by farming practice. Environmental Microbiology 13, 241-249.

Gosling P, Ozaki A, Jones J, Turner M, Rayns F, Bending GD (2010) Organic management of tilled agricultural systems results in a rapid increase in colonisation potential and spore populations of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Agriculture Ecosytems Environment 139, 273-279

Rooney, D., Killham, K., Bending, G.D., Baggs, E., Hodge, A. (2009) Mycorrhizas and biomass crops: opportunities for future sustainable development Trends in Plant Science 14, 542-549.

Joanisse, G.D., Bradley, R.L., Preston, C.M., Bending, G.D. (2009) Sequestration of soil N as tannin-protein complexes improves the competitive ability of sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) relative to black spruce (Picea mariana). New Phytologist 181, 187-198.

Gigaspora spores



Paxillus involutus on birch root