Soil fungi

K N and P J Harris ecoli at cix.compulink.co.uk
Sun May 4 03:57:07 EST 1997


> ==========
> bionet/mycology #2752, from mik_daha at luecology.ecol.lu.sexx, 1751 
chars, Thu  24 Apr 1997 08:20:06 -0
> Comment to 2698.
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> From: David Hagerberg <mik_daha at luecology.ecol.lu.sexx>
> Newsgroups: bionet.mycology
> Subject: Re: Soil fungi
> Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 08:20:06 -0700
> Organization: Dep Microbial Ecology
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> K N and P J Harris wrote:
> > 
> > > ==========
> 
> > > From: David Hagerberg <mik_daha at luecology.ecol.lu.sexx>
> > >
> > > I'm working with different fungi associated with the rhizosphere. 
I
> > want
> > > to know wether anybody has any suggestion how to see or detect 
their
> > > status and actions in the soil.
> > >
> > > Best Regards!
> > There are saprophytes, soil borne plant pathogens and the group you
> > simply must cover which are the mycorrhizae. These form symbiotic
> > associations with MOST plants and can be vital to the survival of 
the
> > plant.
> > 
> > Any study of plants which ignores the mycorrhizae is a study of an
> > artifact. (A slogan lifted from the BEG organisation at the 
University
> > of Kent at Canterbury, U.K. with which I completely agree).
> > Peter Harris,
> > Department of Soil Science,
> > The University of Reading, U.K.
> > AKA <P.J.Harris at reading.ac.uk>
> > Thank you for your attention!
> 
> Now how do you study mycorrhizae directly in the soil?
> 
> Best Regards!
The simple answer to that is "with great difficulty". The hyphae are 
fairly fragile although they do tend to be characteristic and easier to 
spot than most hyphae. It is possible (though not very precise) to carry 
out total fungal length estimates in soils with and without a 
mycorrhizal plant. It suggests that quite a lot of hyphae seen in 
planted soils (the only soils really worth investigating as a soil 
without a plant in it is analogous to a car without fuel) are 
mycorrhizal.
The easy thing to do is to extract spores and categorise them into 
morphotypes if not down to species level.
Peter Haris





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