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Developmental and Structural Section

Winther, Jennifer [1], Friedman, William E. [1].

Evolution of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbioses in Early Lineages of Land Plants.

Nearly all vascular plants have mutualistic arbuscular mycorrhizal symbioses where the plant host gains access to essential mineral nutrients through the fungus and the fungal symbiont acquires fixed carbon from the plant. However, the evolution of arbuscular mycorrhizal associations over the nearly 500 million-year course of land plant history has been largely overlooked. Using fungal specific DNA amplification of 18S and ITS ribosomal DNA, we are the first to report on the identities of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal symbionts in a phylogenetically and ecologically diverse set of ferns and lycopods whose life cycles are characterized by a long-lived subterranean gametophyte phase. We have identified the fungal symbionts throughout the life cycle of these taxa including the autotrophic sporophyte and mycoheterotrophic gametophyte. Our data suggest that the evolution of mycoheterotrophic phases in ancient land plant lineages is highly homoplasious,

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1 - University of Colorado, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCB 334, Boulder, Colorado, 80309, USA

arbuscular mycorrhizae

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 31-2
Location: Salon A - Gov Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Time: 10:30 AM
Abstract ID:159

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