Interactions between Saprotrophic Fungi

Steve Woodward and Lynne Boddy

Contents 1. Introduction 126

2. Mechanisms of Interactions 126

3. Interaction Chemistry: Volatile and Diffusible Organic Compounds 128

4. Interaction Chemistry: Enzyme Production 130

5. Interactions Following Contact: Parasitism and Hyphal Interference 131

6. Gross Mycelial Contact 132

7. Investigating Interactions 134

8. Ecological Significance of Fungal-Fungal Interactions 135

9. Conclusions and Future Perspectives 137 References 138

Abstract Fungal competition for resources can be divided into primary and secondary resource capture. With the former resources have not already been colonized, unlike the latter where combat and antagonistic mechanisms are used to obtain and defend territory. Such interactions can be mediated: (1) at a distance; (2) following contact at the hyphal level; or (3) following contact at the mycelial level. Antagonisms at a distance and at the mycelial level are effected by volatile and diffusible chemicals including enzymes, toxins and other antifungal metabolites. At the hyphal level antagonism is via hyphal interference or parasitism, which again is chemically or enzymatically mediated but on a more localized scale. Interactions have largely been studied on artificial media with the attendant problems of interpretation because of large divergence from field conditions, although soil microcosms have provided a valuable tool for interactions between cord-forming fungi; interactions have also been investigated by inoculating pairs of saprotrophs directly into wood in the field. Microcosm and field-based knowledge of interactions is crucial, not least because of the role of interactions in ecosystem functioning, particularly nutrient cycling and release, their effects on decomposition rates and potential as biological control agents.

British Mycological Society Symposia Series © 2008 The British Mycologica! Society

Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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