The role of in vitro cultivation on asymbiotic trait variation in a single species of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus

V. Kokkoris, T. Miles, M.M. Hart

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


© 2019 British Mycological SocietyCultivating arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in vitro is an efficient way to produce material for industry and research. However, such artificial growing conditions may impose selective pressure on fungi grown in vitro over many generations. We hypothesized that isolates subjected to long term propagation in vitro may develop increasingly ruderal traits. We proposed a predictive framework for the effect of in vitro cultivation on asymbiotic AM fungal traits. Using photomicrography and image processing, we analyzed morphology and growth traits for 14 isolates representing an in vitro cultivation gradient from 0 to >80 generations in vitro. We investigated the range of trait variation among asymbiotic growth of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus isolates (Rhizoglomus irregulare). Spore dormancy was strongly associated with in vitro cultivation. We observed extremely high levels of inter-isolate variation for most fungal traits, but this was not related to time in vitro. Our results indicate that intra-specific diversity may have a strong ecological role in AM fungal communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-317
JournalFungal Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


We would like to thank Michael Deyholos for providing us with access to microscopy equipment. We also like to thank Chantal Hammel and Keith Hanson for providing us propagules of the strain Rhizoglomus irregulare (GD50). Finally, we would like to thank Yolande Dalpé and Claudia Banchini for providing us with the rest of the Rhizoglomus irregulare isolates.

FundersFunder number
Michael DeyholosGD50


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