Ascophyllum and its symbionts. VI. Microscopic Characterization of the Ascophyllum nodosum (Phaeophyceae), Mycophycias ascophylli (Ascomycetes) Symbiotum

  • Deckert, R. J. (Department of Botany, Weber State University) ;
  • Garbary, D. J. (Department of Biology, St. Francis Xavier University)
  • Published : 2005.09.01


Optical microscopy of recently living and cleared material of the fucoid, Ascophyllum nodosum (L.) Le Jolis, revealed novel aspects of its interaction with the ascomycete Mycophycias ascophylli (Cotton) Kohlmeyer and Kohlmeyer (previously Mycosphaerella ascophylli Cotton). Most host cells are associated with hyphae by lateral attachment of cell walls. Hyphae form extensive networks throughout the host thallus and show considerable differentiation in the various host tissues. In the base of epidermal cells, hyphae form multicellular rings around each host cell to produce a continuous network. In medullary regions, long, relatively unbranched and longitudinally aligned hyphae occur, with radial branches extending into cortical regions. Scattered in the inner cortex of host tissue are numerous multicellular nodes of smaller, polygonal to irregular shaped cells with five or more radiating arms of hyphae. Individual hyphal cells show a variety of specializations including swellings and appressoria-like attachments to some host cells. These observations provide the morphological basis for the mutualistic symbiosis supported by recent experimental work. We conclude that this association is best described by the term “symbiotum.”



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