The mechanistic bases of saprotrophic fungal dynamics in soil are not fully clarified. By assessing hyphal density and radial expansion of Aspergillus niger on extracts 45 plant litter types (15 species at 3 decomposition stages), encompassing a broad range of organic quality, we investigated how changes in litter biochemistry affected fungal growth. Plant litter were characterized by classic proximate chemical analyses (total C and N, labile C, cellulose and lignin content, C/N and lignin/N ratios) and, at molecular level, by solid-state C-13-CPMAS NMR. The growth of A. niger decreased during the decomposition process over all organic matter types, consistently with the well-known disappearance of this species during the early successional stages. The litter suitability as a substrate to A. niger progressively decreased during decomposition, both considering proximate parameters and C types corresponding to spectral regions, with the latter being also invariably predictive of fungal growth over the 45 substrates. A. niger growth was positively associated with the content of labile C, and with di-O-alkyl C and O-alkyl C spectral regions, but negatively with lignin content and with methoxyl C region. Our results suggest that organic matter quality may control saprotrophic fungal dynamics, at least for the tested species.

Biochemical changes assessed by 13C-CPMAS NMR spectroscopy control fungal growth on water extracts of decaying plant litter

INCERTI, Guido;
2013

Abstract

The mechanistic bases of saprotrophic fungal dynamics in soil are not fully clarified. By assessing hyphal density and radial expansion of Aspergillus niger on extracts 45 plant litter types (15 species at 3 decomposition stages), encompassing a broad range of organic quality, we investigated how changes in litter biochemistry affected fungal growth. Plant litter were characterized by classic proximate chemical analyses (total C and N, labile C, cellulose and lignin content, C/N and lignin/N ratios) and, at molecular level, by solid-state C-13-CPMAS NMR. The growth of A. niger decreased during the decomposition process over all organic matter types, consistently with the well-known disappearance of this species during the early successional stages. The litter suitability as a substrate to A. niger progressively decreased during decomposition, both considering proximate parameters and C types corresponding to spectral regions, with the latter being also invariably predictive of fungal growth over the 45 substrates. A. niger growth was positively associated with the content of labile C, and with di-O-alkyl C and O-alkyl C spectral regions, but negatively with lignin content and with methoxyl C region. Our results suggest that organic matter quality may control saprotrophic fungal dynamics, at least for the tested species.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1104398
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