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Interactions of saprotrophic fungi with tree roots : can we observe the emergence of novel ectomycorrhizal fungi ? [New Phytologist - Commentary]

Keywords : commensalism, ectomycorrhiza, evolution, plant–microbe interactions, saprotrophy, tree roots, wood-decomposers

par Frédéric Magné - publié le , mis à jour le

In this issue of New Phytologist, Smith et al. (pp. 747–755) re-address the question about the mode of interaction between tree roots and saprotrophic fungi. Roots of ectomycorrhizal (EcM) coniferous trees are known to interact with a large suite of different fungi. These interactions are typified by distinct anatomical and morphological characteristics and are specific for each type of interaction. The presence of root pathogens is characterized by various morphological changes to infected roots and leads to the rapid dieback of small roots. Root interior colonization by dark septate endophytes (that are most likely commensalists utilizing host resources) is rather limited in size so that they can live asymptomatically with their hosts.(...)

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