An overview of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi-nematode interactions

W. H. Gera Hol, Roger Cook

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113 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Plant parasitic nematodes and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) share plant roots as a resource for food and space. The interest in AMF-nematode interactions lies in the possibility of enhanced resistance or tolerance of AMF-infected plants to nematodes, and the potential value of this for control of crop pests. Data collated from previous studies revealed a great diversity of AMF-nematode responses and we seek to generalise from these by evaluating and discussing interactions involving three groups of nematodes distinguished by their mode of parasitism: (i) ectoparasites; (ii) sedentary endoparasites; and (iii) migratory endoparasites. Based on proximity in tissue, we expected that the interactions between endoparasites and AMF would be stronger, i.e. more reciprocal effects of endoparasitic nematodes on AMF, than those between ectoparasites and AMF. Contrary to this hypothesis, we found that, relative to AMF-free plants, AMF-infected plants were damaged more by ectoparasites than by endoparasites. Of the sedentary endoparasites, numbers of root-knot nematodes were reduced more by mycorrhizal infection than were those of cyst nematodes. The reduction in nematode damage by AMF was not different for root-knot or cyst nematode infested plants. Migratory endoparasitic nematodes were the only group whose numbers were greater on AMF-infected plants. However, the experiments involving migratory nematodes were characterised by relatively high levels of AMF infection and little nematode damage compared to the other feeding types. The outcomes of the AMF-nematode interactions are determined by many factors during the interactions between organisms and their physical, physiological and temporal environments. Assessing effects by recording plant sizes and total nematode or AMF populations at the end of experiments gives very little information on the mechanisms of the interactions. It is time to stop doing studies of black boxes and time to start observing processes, directly by using microscopy and indirectly by application of molecular genetics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-503
Number of pages15
JournalBasic and Applied Ecology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2005

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