The genus Collimonas consists of soil bacteria that have the potential to grow at the expense of living fungal hyphae. However, the consequences of this mycophagous ability for soil fungi are unknown. Here we report on the development of fungal communities after introduction of collimonads in a soil that had a low abundance of indigenous collimonads. Development of fungal communities was stimulated by addition of cellulose or by introducing plants (Plantago lanceolata). Community composition of total fungi in soil and rhizosphere and of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in roots was examined by PCR-DGGE. The introduction of collimonads altered the composition of all fungal communities studied but had no effects on fungal biomass increase, cellulose degrading activity or plant performance. The most likely explanation for these results is that differences in sensitivity of fungal species to the presence of collimonads result in competitive replacement of species. The lab and greenhouse experiments were complemented with a field experiment. Mesh bags containing sterile sand with or without collimonads were buried in an ex-arable field and a forest. The presence of collimonads had an effect on the composition of fungi invading these bags in the ex-arable site but not in the forest site.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Journal publication date2009

ID: 198130