Arbuscular Mycorrhizal and Dark Septate Endophyte Fungal Association in Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) Varieties, Southern India
The study examined the root characteristics, type of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and dark septate endophyte (DSE) fungal associations and their extent of colonization in 13 widely cultivated cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) varieties in southern India. Root and associated soil samples of each cassava variety were collected from Salem and Kolli Hills of the Eastern Ghats in south India. In addition, we also investigated the relationship between the extent of colonization of AM, DSE fungal and AM fungal spore communities and soil characteristics for each cassava variety. Roots of all the cassava varieties were colonized by AM fungi and 12 varieties had co-colonization of DSE fungi. The AM morphology in all the cassava varieties was of an intermediate type with intercellular and intracellular linear hyphae and arbusculate coils. In addition, we found high AM colonization rates (73-89%) but only moderate rates by DSE (22-68%) fungi. We also found 17 AM fungal spore morphotypes and their abundance varied significantly among cassava varieties. In addition, different physicochemical properties of soils may possibly increase AMF diversity, while different varieties of cassava are commonly associated with differing levels of AM and DSE fungi colonization with soil factors potentially influencing the symbiosis.
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