Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Associations in Liverworts Plagiochasma Appendiculatum and Marchantia Papillata, an Evolutionary Amphibian Adaptation for Land Plant Colonization

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Mamta Verma, Parul Parihar, Ovaid Akhtar

Abstract

About 400 million years ago, Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis (AMS) arose in land plants, perhaps acting as a significant contributor to plant terrestrialization. The ability to form AMS is evolutionarily conserved across most clades of extant land plants, including early diverging bryophytes. Despite the broad taxonomic distribution of bryophytes, little is known about these beneficiary interactions between liverworts and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. There are several reports of fungal associations in liverworts and hornworts, but evidence of them being associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis in bryophytes is scarce. During this study 18 populations of Plagiochasmaappendiculatum as well as Marchantia papillata from different locations in Jammu were studied for Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. Fungal hyphae, vesicles, arbuscules and spores were observed in liverworts samples. The AM fungal hyphae were observed in gamatophytic tissue only. There was no sign of AM fungus in sporophytes. The AM fungal structures observed during the present study are similar to those reported for the higher plant host-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF) interactions. Spores were multiplied by trap culture in higher plant species. The presence of Arbuscular mycorrhizal association in the gametophytes of Marchantia papilliata and Plagiochasma appendiculatum strongly supports the hypothesis that the symbiotic association with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi was a primary event in the evolution of land plants.

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