Acaulospora pustulata and Acaulospora tortuosa , two new species in the Glomeromycota from Sierra Nevada National Park (southern Spain)
Palenzuela, Javier; Azcón-Aguilar, Concepción; Barea, José-Miguel; Alves da Silva, Gladstone; Oehl, Fritz
Two new Acaulospora species were found in two wet mountainous grassland ecosystems of Sierra Nevada National Park (Spain), living in the rhizosphere of two endangered plants, Ophioglossum vulgatum and Narcissus nevadensis, which co-occurred with other plants like Holcus lanatus, Trifolium repens, Mentha suaveolens and Carum verticillatum, in soils affected by ground water flow. The two fungi produced spores in pot cultures, using O. vulgatum, N. nevadensis, H. lanatus and T. repens as bait plants. Acaulospora pustulata has a pustulate spore ornamentation similar to that of Diversispora pustulata, while A. tortuosa has surface projections that resemble innumerous hyphae-like structures that are more rudimentary than the hyphae-like structures known for spores of Sacculospora baltica or Glomus tortuosum. Phylogenetic analyses of sequences of the ITS and partial LSU of the ribosomal genes reveal that both fungi are new species within the Acaulosporaceae. They are most closely related to A. alpina and undescribed Acaulospora species. With 45–72 μm spore size, Acaulospora pustulata is the smallest Acaulospora species known so far, while A. tortuosa has slightly larger spores (61–84(–94) μm), which is in the range known for several other Acaulospora species like A. longula, A. alpina, A. nivalis and A. sieverdingii that have either smooth or pitted spore surfaces. These two fungi might play an important role in helping their endangered hosts O. vulgatum and N. nevadensis to survive under the stressed environments of the high mountains of Sierra Nevada.