Wollemia nobilis: Modern Studies of an Ancient Plant
Biggs, L , Durall, D , Murch, SJ .
Do Mycorrhizal Fungi Form Associations with Roots of Wollemia nobilis?
Mycorrhizas are ubiquitous symbioses between fungi and the roots of over 90% of terrestrial plants. Associations with mycorrhizal fungi have been shown to benefit plants in a variety of ways, including enhanced uptake of mineral nutrients. Thus, mycorrhizas may be of great importance for plant survival in soils with low nutrient concentrations. The remaining populations of the Wollemi pine, Wollemia nobilis, are growing in Hawkesbury sandstone-derived soils that are notably low in phosphorus levels. Only one publication to date has assessed the mycorrhization of Wollemi pine trees in the wild, and it was determined that mycorrhizal fungi were in fact present on the examined roots. However, outplanted laboratory-grown seedlings do not initially have mycorrhizal associations and may be outcompeted for resources, especially in nutrient-limited soils. Therefore, the role of mycorrhizas in Wollemi pine survival is an important topic deserving further attention. At UBC-Okanagan, we are currently performing a series of mycorrhizal fungal inoculation experiments using Wollemi pines to learn more about the nature of the symbiosis and the potential nutritional benefits obtained by the plants.
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1 - UBC Okanagan, Biology, 3333 University Way, Kelowna, BC, V1V 1V7, Canada
2 - UBC Okanagan, Chemistry, 3333 University Way, Kelowna, BC, V1V 1V7, Canada
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 10:45 AM