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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 446: VI International Symposium on Vaccinium Culture

THE PRESENCE, ISOLATION, AND CHARACTERIZATION OF ERICOID MYCORRHIZAL SYMBIONTS IN TWO NATIVE AND TWO COMMERCIAL VACCINIUM POPULATIONS IN CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA

Authors:   C.M. Stevens, B.L. Goulart, K. Demchak, Y. Dalpé, W.Q. Yang, J.F. Hancock
Keywords:   highbush blueberry, nitrogen nutrition, fertilization, symbiosis, fungal isolates, Hymenoscyphus ericae, Scytalidium vaccinii, Oidiodendron griseum
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.1997.446.60
Abstract:
Vaccinium roots form an ericoid mycorrhizal symbiosis with certain ascomycetous fungi, however their importance in commercial populations is not well understood. Over the course of the 1994 growing season, ericoid mycorrhizae infection intensity was evaluated in 4 different blueberry populations; one native V. angustifolium L. (lowbush) site, one native V. corymbosum L. (highbush) site, one conventional commercial highbush site, and one low-input commercial highbush site. Soil and tissue nutrient levels as well as infection intensity were repeatedly sampled as part of the survey. Fungal symbionts were isolated, and isolates identified using morphological techniques and RAPD analysis. Isolates showed a high level of diversity, even within a given site. Both native populations had higher mycorrhizal infection intensities than the commercial populations, with the lowbush population having the highest infection levels. The native site soils were lower in pH and nutrient levels than the commercial site soils, infection intensity tended to increase with time during the growing season, and infection intensity differed among commercial cultivars.

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