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Ergosterol content in ericaceous hair roots correlates with dark septate endophytes but not with ericold mycorrhizal colonization

  • Maria Olsrud
  • A Michelsen
  • Håkan Wallander
Publishing year: 2007
Language: English
Pages: 1218-1221
Publication/Series: Soil Biology & Biochemistry
Volume: 39
Issue: 5
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

The relationship between ergosterol content in ericaceous hair roots and ericoid mycorrhizal (ErM) colonization versus dark septate endophytic (DSE) hyphal colonization was examined in a dwarf shrub-dominated subarctic mire in Northern Sweden. Ergosterol content in hair roots did not correlate with ErM colonization in corresponding root samples. However, a significant positive relationship was found between hair root DSE hyphal colonization and ergosterol content. This is the first study to demonstrate that ergosterol cannot be used as a colonization indicator for ErM in hair roots growing under natural conditions. It also suggests the possibility of using ergosterol as an estimate of DSE hyphal colonization in ericaceous dwarf shrubs. This study has implications for the interpretation of results in field studies where ergosterol was used as a sole proxy for ErM colonization.


  • Biological Sciences


  • Microbial Ecology
  • ISSN: 0038-0717
Håkan Wallander
E-mail: hakan [dot] wallander [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



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