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Binucleate Rhizoctonia (Ceratorhiza spp.) as non-mycorrhizal endophytes alter Pinus sylvestris L. seedling root architecture and affect growth of rooted cuttings

Grönberg, Henrietta and Kaparakis, George and Sen, Robin (2006) Binucleate Rhizoctonia (Ceratorhiza spp.) as non-mycorrhizal endophytes alter Pinus sylvestris L. seedling root architecture and affect growth of rooted cuttings. Scandinavian journal of forest research, 21 (6). pp. 450-457. ISSN 1400-4089

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Abstract

The main aim of this study was to assess critically the effects of binucleate Rhizoctonia (BnR) inoculation on Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedling and hypocotyl root architecture and early plant growth in tree seedling nursery soil, Sphagnum peat and forest humus. The BnR isolates (251, 266, 268, 269) stimulated early seedling growth in the nitrogen-limited nursery soil 86 days postinoculation (p.i.). These seedlings exhibited significantly higher root length and reduced root width, although percentage root infection levels were <6%. At a harvest 240 days p.i., no significant plant and root growth differences were identified, although short root numbers were significantly increased. BnR infection detected in roots was characterized by the presence of intercellular fungal hyphae and subtending intracellular monilioid fungal cells located in outer cortical cells of long roots. Similar endophytic infection morphology was detected in adventitious roots generated in prerooted hypocotyl cuttings [Kaparakis, G. & Sen, R. (2006). Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 21] exposed to all BnR isolates in nursery peat and forest humus, although isolate-specific cutting growth was detected. In conclusion, these BnR isolates, known to be genetically related to orchid mycorrhizal Ceratorhiza spp., are non-pathogenic and have the capacity to stimulate significantly early Scots pine root development in nursery soils and forest humus.

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