Ericoid mycorrhiza

a partnership that exploits harsh edaphic conditions

J W G Cairney, A A Meharg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plants that form ericoid mycorrhizal associations are widespread in harsh habitats. Ericoid mycorrhizal fungal endophytes are a genetically diverse group, and they appear to be able to alleviate certain environmental stresses and so facilitate the establishment and survival of Ericaceae. Some of the fungal taxa that form ericoid mycorrhizas, or at least closely related strains, also form associations with other plant hosts (trees and leafy liverworts). The functional significance of these associations and putative mycelial links between Ericaceae and other plant taxa, however, remain unclear. Evidence from environments that are contaminated by toxic metals indicates that ericoid mycorrhizal fungal endophytes, and in some instances their plant hosts, can evolve resistance to these metals. The apparent ability of these endophytes to develop resistance enables ericoid mycorrhizal plants to colonize polluted soil. This seems to be a major factor in the success of ericoid mycorrhizal taxa in a range of harsh environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-740
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Volume54
Issue number4
Early online date9 Oct 2003
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

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endophyte
mycorrhiza
endophytes
mycorrhizae
Ericaceae
host plant
host plants
metals
liverwort
plant architecture
environmental stress
polluted soils
mosses and liverworts
metal
habitat
habitats
soil

Keywords

  • fungus hymenoscyphus-ericae
  • woollsia-pungens
  • calluna-vulgaris
  • molecular diversity
  • nitrogen-sources
  • read Korf
  • ectomycorrhizal fungi
  • vaccinium-macrocarpon
  • organic nitrogen
  • in-vitro

Cite this

Ericoid mycorrhiza : a partnership that exploits harsh edaphic conditions. / Cairney, J W G ; Meharg, A A .

In: European Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 54, No. 4, 12.2003, p. 735-740.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cairney, J W G ; Meharg, A A . / Ericoid mycorrhiza : a partnership that exploits harsh edaphic conditions. In: European Journal of Soil Science. 2003 ; Vol. 54, No. 4. pp. 735-740.
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