Metabolic activity of Glomus intraradices in Arum- and Paris-type arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization

Ingrid M. van Aarle, Timothy R. Cavagnaro, Sally E. Smith, F. Andrew Smith, Sandy Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


• Colonization of two plant species by Glomus intraradices was studied to investigate the two morphological types (Arum and Paris), their symbiotic interfaces and metabolic activities. 

• Root pieces and sections were stained to observe the colonization and metabolic activity of all mycorrhizal structures. 

• There were no growth responses observed in the plants caused by mycorrhizal symbiosis. The two morphological types had a similar percentage of root colonized, but the Arum-type had higher metabolic activity. Most of the mycorrhizal structures (88%) showed succinate dehydrogenase activity; about half showed acid phosphatase activity; and a small percentage showed alkaline phosphatase activity. Phosphatase activity was highest in arbuscules and low in intercellular hyphae in the Arum-type colonization. In the Paris-type, hyphal coils and arbusculate coils showed a similar intermediate percentage of phosphatase activity. 

• We conclude that acid phosphatase is more important than alkaline phosphatase in both colonization types. We discuss the possibility that, whereas arbuscules in Arum-type are the main site for phosphorus release to the host plant, both the hyphal and arbusculate coils may be involved in the Paris-type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-618
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Arbuscular mycorrhiza
  • Arbuscule
  • Coil
  • ELF (enzyme-labelled fluorescence)
  • LSCM (laser scanning confocal microscope)
  • Metabolic activity
  • Phosphatase
  • Succinate dehydrogenase


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