The co-occurrence of ectomycorrhizal, arbuscular mycorrhizal, and dark septate fungi in seedlings of four members of the Pinaceae

Mycorrhiza. 2008 Feb;18(2):103-10. doi: 10.1007/s00572-007-0157-y. Epub 2007 Dec 19.


Although roots of species in the Pinaceae are usually colonized by ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi, there are increasing reports of the presence of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and dark septate endophytic (DSE) fungi in these species. The objective of this study was to determine the colonization patterns in seedlings of three Pinus (pine) species (Pinus banksiana, Pinus strobus, Pinus contorta) and Picea glauca x Picea engelmannii (hybrid spruce) grown in soil collected from a disturbed forest site. Seedlings of all three pine species and hybrid spruce became colonized by EM, AM, and DSE fungi. The dominant EM morphotype belonged to the E-strain category; limited colonization by a Tuber sp. was found on roots of Pinus strobus and an unknown morphotype (cf. Suillus-Rhizopogon group) with thick, cottony white mycelium was present on short roots of all species. The three fungal categories tended to occupy different niches in a single root system. No correlation was found between the percent root colonized by EM and percent colonization by either AM or DSE, although there was a positive correlation between percent root length colonized by AM and DSE. Hyphae and vesicles were the only AM intracellular structures found in roots of all species; arbuscules were not observed in any roots.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fungi / isolation & purification*
  • Mycorrhizae / growth & development*
  • Picea / microbiology*
  • Pinus / microbiology*
  • Plant Roots / microbiology
  • Seedlings / microbiology*
  • Trees