The influence of inorganic and organic phosphorus (P) and the absence of P in the culture medium on the type of mycorrhizal colonization formed (ecto-, ectendo-, or endomycorrhiza) during Helianthemum almeriense x Terfezia claveryi symbiosis in in vitro conditions was analyzed. This is the first time that the relative proportions of the different mycorrhizal types in mycorrhizal roots of H. almeriense have been quantified and statistically analyzed. The relative proportions of the mycorrhizal types depended on the P source in the medium, suggesting that it is the organic P form that induces the formation of intracellular colonization. The above association should be considered as a continuum between intra- and intercellular colonizations, the most appropriate term for defining it being ectendomycorrhiza. The influence of the endogenous concentration of P on plant growth was also analyzed. P translocation was observed from shoot to roots, especially in mycorrhizal plants because mycorrhizal roots showed higher growth than non-mycorrhizal roots and/or because of an extra P demand from mycelium inside the roots. Soluble and cell wall acid phosphatases activities from H. almeriense roots were kinetically characterized at optimum pH (5.0), using p-nitrophenyl phosphate as substrate, with K (m) values of 3.4 and 1.8 mM, respectively. Moreover, the plant acid phosphatase and fungal alkaline phosphatases activities were histochemically localised in mycorrhizal H. almeriense roots by fluorescence with enzyme-labelled fluorescence substrate.
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