John W. G. Cairney

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Fungi fulfil a range of important ecological functions, yet current understanding of fungal biodiversity in soil is limited. Direct DNA extraction from soil, coupled with polymerase chain reaction amplification and community profiling techniques, has proved successful in investigations of bacterial ecology and shows great promise for elucidating the(More)
Ericaceous dwarf shrubs including Calluna vulgaris and Vaccinium spp. occur both in open heathland communities and in forest ecosystems as understory vegetation. Ericaceous shrubs were once thought to form ericoid mycorrhizal associations with a relatively narrow range of ascomycetous fungi closely related to, and including, Rhizoscyphus ericae. However,(More)
Ericoid mycorrhizal fungal endophytes form mycorrhizal associations with Ericaceae plant taxa and are regarded as essential to the ecological fitness of the plants in extremely nutrient-poor soils worldwide. We isolated fungi from roots of Epacris pulchella (Ericaceae) in a south-eastern Australian sclerophyll forest and compared rDNA internal transcribed(More)
The culturable fungal assemblage associated with hair roots of Rhododendron lochiae (Ericaceae) from a tropical cloud forest in Queensland, Australia was investigated using rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) and sequence analysis, and the abilities of the fungi to form ericoid mycorrhizas were tested.(More)
The effects of potentially toxic metals on ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi and their higher plant hosts are examined in this review. Investigations at a species and community level have revealed wide inter- and intraspecific variation in sensitivity to metals. Adaptive and constitutive mechanisms of ECM tolerance are proposed and discussed in relation to proven(More)
The tracer Cellufluor has been used to test the apoplastic permeability of the fungal sheath inPisonia grandis R. Br. mycorrhizas. In the tip region in the immediate vicinity of the root cap, where the sheath is not yet fully differentiated, Celluflor penetrates as far as the root epidermal cells. Behind this (i.e. just proximal to it) in differentiated(More)
The diversity of ectomycorrhizal mycobionts of Pisonia grandis (Nyctaginaceae) from coral cays in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, was examined. Only two ectomycorrhiza morphotypes (brown and black) were identified in soil from seven cays and DNA from both morphotypes was subjected to ITS-RFLP and sequence analysis. The brown(More)
Many forest trees have evolved mutualistic symbioses with ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi that contribute to their phosphorus (P) nutrition. Forest productivity is frequently limited by P, a phenomenon that is likely to become more widespread under future conditions of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration [CO2]. It is thus timely that this review considers(More)
Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi form mutualistic symbioses with many tree species and are regarded as key organisms in nutrient and carbon cycles in forest ecosystems. Our appreciation of their roles in these processes is hampered by a lack of understanding of their soil-borne mycelial systems. These mycelia represent the vegetative thalli of ECM fungi that(More)
 Most terrestrial plants live in mutualistic symbiosis with root-infecting mycorrhizal fungi. Fossil records and molecular clock dating suggest that all extant land plants have arisen from an ancestral arbuscular mycorrhizal condition. Arbuscular mycorrhizas evolved concurrently with the first colonisation of land by plants some 450–500 million years ago(More)