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Intraspecific variation in use of different organic nitrogen sources by the ectomycorrhizal fungus Hebeloma cylindrosporum

Abstract : The ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungus Hebeloma cylindrosporum is an appropriate model to study the intra-specific functional diversity of ECM fungi in forest ecosystems. Numerous metabolic genes, specifically genes related to nitrogen assimilation, have been characterised for this species and the spatial and temporal structures of its natural populations have been extensively worked out. In this paper, we reveal the extent to which intraspecific variation exists within this fungus for the ability to use organic nitrogen, an important functional characteristic of ECM fungi. In addition to ammonium and nitrate, H. cylindros-porum can use at least 13 different amino acids out of 21 tested as sole nitrogen source, as well as urea and proteins. By screening 22 genetically different wild type haploid strains we identified obvious differences in use of six nitrogen sources: alanine, glycine, phenylalanine, serine, bovine serum albumin and gelatine. Of the 22 haploid strains, 11 could not use at least one of these six nitrogen sources. The inability of some haploid strains to use a nitrogen source was found to be a recessive character. Nevertheless, obvious differences in use of the four amino acids tested were also measured between wild type dikaryons colonising a common Pinus pinaster root system. This study constitutes the basis for future experiments that will address the consequences of the functional diversity of an ECM fungus on the functioning of the ECM symbiosis under natural conditions.
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Alice Guidot, Marie-Christine Verner, Jean-Claude Debaud, Roland Marmeisse. Intraspecific variation in use of different organic nitrogen sources by the ectomycorrhizal fungus Hebeloma cylindrosporum. Mycorrhiza, Springer Verlag, 2005, 15, pp.167-177. ⟨10.1007/s00572-004-0318-1⟩. ⟨hal-02936818⟩



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