University of Oulu

Ruotsalainen, A. L., Kauppinen, M., Wäli, P. R., Saikkonen, K., Helander, M., & Tuomi, J. (2022). Dark septate endophytes: Mutualism from by-products? Trends in Plant Science, 27(3), 247–254.

Dark septate endophytes : mutualism from by-products?

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Author: Ruotsalainen, Anna L.1; Kauppinen, Miia2; Wäli, Piippa R.1,3;
Organizations: 1Department of Ecology and Genetics, POB 3000, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
2Biodiversity Unit, University of Turku, FI-20014 Turku, Finland
3Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Ounasjoentie 6, FI-96200 Rovaniemi, Finland
4Department of Biology, University of Turku, FI-20014 Turku, Finland
5Meritie 43, FI-29900 Merikarvia, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-10-27


Plant roots are abundantly colonized by dark septate endophytic (DSE) fungi in virtually all ecosystems. DSE fungi are functionally heterogeneous and their relationships with plants range from antagonistic to mutualistic. Here, we consider the role of by-product benefits in DSE and other root–fungal symbioses. We compared host investments against symbiont-derived benefits for the host plant and categorized these benefits as by-products or benefits requiring reciprocal investment from the host. By-product benefits may provide the variability required for the evolution of invested mutualisms between the host and symbiont. We suggest that DSE could be considered as ‘a by-product mutualist transitional phase’ in the evolution of cooperative mycorrhizal symbionts from saprotrophic fungi.

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Series: Trends in plant science
ISSN: 1360-1385
ISSN-E: 1878-4372
ISSN-L: 1360-1385
Volume: 27
Issue: 3
Pages: 247 - 254
DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2021.10.001
Type of Publication: B1 Journal article
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Copyright information: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http:/