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Indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the grapevines from karstic soils


Results obtained by this project give first insight into AMF distribution and diversity in Croatian karstic soils. Indigenous AMF species/strains were isolated from ten Dalmatian vineyards and are kept in Institute collection in about thirty mono-sporal pot cultures. Two experiments on the importance of the plant host choice for establishment of AMF pot cultures were conducted. It was also experimentally tested whether grapevine and selected weeds from Croatian vineyards (Plantago lanceolata, Tanacetum cinerariifolium, Taraxacum officinale and Trifolium repens) differently develop arbuscular mycorrhizal symbioses either individually or when combined as multiple hosts’ in trap cultures. Results during six months period show that both, plant hosts’ identity and density significantly influenced observed mycorrhizal parameters. Grapevine ability to participate in arbuscular mycorrhiza is dependent on its neighbouring plants. Grapevine and Tanacetum cinerariifolium individually and in combination generally enabled greater development of arbuscular mycorrhiza comparing to Plantago lanceolatum alone or in combinations as visible in spores’ production, extraradical mycelium length and AMF root colonization. Different plant hosts also considerably differed in preferences for AMF community hosting. Our findings are also potentially important in practice in vineyards with cover crops – which cover crops to select to improve overall mycorrhizal status in the vineyard. Also the fact that different weeds host different AMF communities may cause diverse influence on enhancing grapevine growth or nutrient uptake. These experimental results are summarized in a still unpublished scientific article.

Obtained AMF sequences are the first data on native AMF species from soils in Croatia, although only as a preview on expected richness. The majority of sequences showed similarity to Glomus intraradices and G. fasciculatum. A large number of sequences were grouped in a cluster with high maximum likelihood support and included also G. sinuosum. Less often some sequences showed similarity to Glomus group B representatives (Glomus viscosum) and several sequences showed similarity to representatives of Diversisporaceae. Due to repeated sampling, more phylogenetic analysis will be made to complete preliminary results. Root infection, sporal abundance and species diversity were assessed for vineyards with different climatic conditions and under different agricultural practices. The results are compared testing the hypothesis that organic vineyards offer more suitable conditions for development of greater number of AMF species compared to conventional ones. Data analysis and interpretation is in the process and are planned to be published.

Seasonal changes in grapevine roots’ mycorrhizal structures and sporal abundance were followed for twelve months in Institute vineyard. Result show significant differences of observed parameters during this period correlated with phenotypic seasonal changes of grape and environmental factors.

Agreement with Belgian partners is made that if they are interested in some of successfully isolated AMF strains they will be placed into GINCO (Glomeromycota in vitro Collection).

One article is submitted into international scientific journal and two more are in the process of preparation. Preliminary experimental results are presented at international scientific symposium.

While preparing and implementing this project, co-financing was agreed with five SMEs and with County of Split and Dalmatia (Department for economy, development and EU integration). Collaboration with the County will continue in the next years. The aim of such support is potential application to agricultural practice and producers’ education, which is one of our major issues.

During the project some results were achieved that were not foreseen in the original project application. Thus grape mycorrhizal status in the vineyards was correlated to dominate weeds’ mycorrhizal status completing the picture of their mycorrhizal networks. Furthermore, dark septate endophytes (DSE) were also detected, their abundance and identity determined in selected grape root samples. AMF and DSE are the common interest with the Slovenian colleagues with whom we applied for a project funding. Mycorrhizal parameters will for selected samples be related to chemical composition of the soil and grape leaves in order to clarify grape nutrient allocation. Experiments focused on AMF role in nutrient acquisition by the olives are still in process specifically testing if AMF increase solubility of zeolits. Preliminary data are obtained for AMF influence on metal ions adsorbtion/desorbtion on secondary clay minerals.


  • Undergraduate thesis "Detection of mycorrhizal fungi in soil", Ana Radic, Study of Mediterranean agriculture, mentor Tomislav Radic, Split (September 2010)
  • Undergraduate thesis "Symbiotic relations between plants and soil microorganisms", Lucija Cukrov, Study of Mediterranean agriculture, mentor Tomislav Radic, Split (September 2011)
  • Scientific symposium presentation: Radic T, Hancevic K, Protega I, Pezo I (2011) Varying efficiency of mycorrhizal establishment in pot cultures – plant hosts' role. Symposium "Ecology of soil microorganisms", Prague, Czech Republic
  • Undergraduate thesis "Seasonal variability of grapevine root colonization by mycorrhizal fungi", Marijana Misetic, Study of Mediterranean agriculture, mentor Tomislav Radic, Split (July 2012)
  • Scientific symposium presentation: Radic, Tomislav; Hancevic, Katarina; Likar, Matevz; Bikic, Ivana; Jug-Dujakovic, Marija (2012) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in grapevines and neighbouring. 5th Croatian Congress of Microbiology with International Participation, Primosten, Croatia.
  • Scientific paper: T. Radic, K. Hancevic, M. Likar, I. Protega, M. Jug-Dujakovic, I. Bogdanovic (2012) Neighbouring weeds influence the formation of arbuscular mycorrhiza in grapevine. Symbiosis, 56: 111-120.
  • Scientific paper: M. Likar, K. Hancevic, T. Radic, M. Regvar (2012) Distribution and diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in grapevines from production vineyards along the eastern Adriatic coast. Mycorrhiza, in press.
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