Ectomycorrhizal fungal protein degradation ability predicted by soil organic nitrogen availability

Francois Rineau, Jelle Stas, Nhu H. Nguyen, Thomas W. Kuyper, Robert Carleer, Jaco Vangronsveld, Jan V. Colpaert, Peter G. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

In temperate and boreal forest ecosystems, nitrogen (N) limitation of tree metabolism is alleviated by ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. As forest soils age, the primary source of N in soil switches from inorganic (NH4 + and NO3 -) to organic (mostly proteins). It has been hypothesized that ECM fungi adapt to the most common N source in their environment, which implies that fungi growing in older forests would have greater protein degradation abilities. Moreover, recent results for a model ECM fungal species suggest that organic N uptake requires a glucose supply. To test the generality of these hypotheses, we screened 55 strains of 13 Suillus species with different ecological preferences for their in vitro protein degradation abilities. Suillus species preferentially occurring in mature forests, where soil contains more organic matter, had significantly higher protease activity than those from young forests with low-organic-matter soils or species indifferent to forest age. Within species, the protease activities of ecotypes from soils with high or low soil organic N content did not differ significantly, suggesting resource partitioning between mineral and organic soil layers. The secreted protease mixtures were strongly dominated by aspartic peptidases. Glucose addition had variable effects on secreted protease activity; in some species, it triggered activity, but in others, activity was repressed at high concentrations. Collectively, our results indicate that protease activity, a key ectomycorrhizal functional trait, is positively related to environmental N source availability but is also influenced by additional factors, such as carbon availability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1391-1400
Number of pages10
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Volume82
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

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fungal proteins
Fungal Proteins
organic nitrogen
protein degradation
Proteolysis
Nitrogen
proteinases
Soil
Peptide Hydrolases
degradation
protein
Suillus
soil
organic soils
forest soils
fungi
fungus
Fungi
soil organic matter
organic soil

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Ectomycorrhizal fungal protein degradation ability predicted by soil organic nitrogen availability. / Rineau, Francois; Stas, Jelle; Nguyen, Nhu H.; Kuyper, Thomas W.; Carleer, Robert; Vangronsveld, Jaco; Colpaert, Jan V.; Kennedy, Peter G.

In: Applied and environmental microbiology, Vol. 82, No. 5, 01.01.2016, p. 1391-1400.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rineau, F, Stas, J, Nguyen, NH, Kuyper, TW, Carleer, R, Vangronsveld, J, Colpaert, JV & Kennedy, PG 2016, 'Ectomycorrhizal fungal protein degradation ability predicted by soil organic nitrogen availability', Applied and environmental microbiology, vol. 82, no. 5, pp. 1391-1400. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.03191-15
Rineau, Francois ; Stas, Jelle ; Nguyen, Nhu H. ; Kuyper, Thomas W. ; Carleer, Robert ; Vangronsveld, Jaco ; Colpaert, Jan V. ; Kennedy, Peter G. / Ectomycorrhizal fungal protein degradation ability predicted by soil organic nitrogen availability. In: Applied and environmental microbiology. 2016 ; Vol. 82, No. 5. pp. 1391-1400.
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