Association of Pinus banksiana Lamb. and Populus tremuloides Michx. seedling fine roots with Sistotrema brinkmannii (Bres.) J. Erikss. (Basidiomycotina)

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College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Sistotrema brinkmannii (Bres.) J. Erikss. (Basidiomycotina, Hydanaceae), commonly regarded as a wood decay fungus, was consistently isolated from bareroot nursery Pinus banksiana Lamb. seedlings. S. brinkmannii was found in ectomycorrhizae formed by Thelephora terrestris Ehrh., Laccaria laccata (Scop.) Cooke, and Suillus luteus (L.) Roussel. In pure culture combinations with sterile P. banksiana and Populus tremuloides Michx. seedlings, S. brinkmannii colonized root cortical cells while not killing seedlings. Colonization by S. brinkmannii appeared to be intracellular but typical endo- or ectomycorrhizae were not formed. The fungus did not decay roots, although it was shown to produce cellulase in enzyme tests. Results suggest a unique association between S. brinkmannii and seedling roots that is neither mycorrhizal nor detrimental; its exact function remains to be elucidated.

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