• Gamini Seneviratne

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Mycelial colonization by bradyrhizobia and azorhizobia

      Gamini Seneviratne H S Jayasinghearachchi

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      This study examines mycelial colonization of common soil fungi by bradyrhizobia and an azorhizobial strain, resulting in the forming of biofilms. The effects of the fungal exudates on a bradyrhizobial strain have also been investigated. Bradyrhizobia gradually colonized the mycelia for about 18 days, after which the biofilm structures collapsed with the release of the rhizobial cell clusters to the culture medium. The azorhizobial strain showed differential colonization of the mycelia. In general, there were no considerable mycotoxin effects of the fungal exudates on the bradyrhizobial strain used, instead the rhizobial strain utilized the exudates as a source of nutrition. This study indicates that the present microbial association with biofilm formation has important implications in the survival of rhizobia under adverse soil conditions devoid of vegetation. Further, it could have developed an as yet unidentified nitrogen fixing system that could have contributed to the nitrogen economy of soils.

    • Global warming and terrestrial carbon sequestration

      Gamini Seneviratne

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    • Can mushrooms fix atmospheric nitrogen?

      H S Jayasinghearachchi Gamini Seneviratne

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      It is generally reported that fungi likePleurotus spp. can fix nitrogen (N2). The way they do it is still not clear. The present study hypothesized that only associations of fungi and diazotrophs can fix N2. This was testedin vitro.Pleurotus ostreatus was inoculated with a bradyrhizobial strain nodulating soybean andP. ostreatus with no inoculation was maintained as a control. At maximum mycelial colonization by the bradyrhizobial strain and biofilm formation, the cultures were subjected to acetylene reduction assay (ARA). Another set of the cultures was evaluated for growth and nitrogen accumulation. Nitrogenase activity was present in the biofilm, but not when the fungus or the bradyrhizobial strain was alone. A significant reduction in mycelial dry weight and a significant increase in nitrogen concentration were observed in the inoculated cultures compared to the controls. The mycelial weight reduction could be attributed to C transfer from the fungus to the bradyrhizobial strain, because of high C cost of biological N2 fixation. This needs further investigations using14C isotopic tracers. It is clear from the present study that mushrooms alone cannot fix atmospheric N2. But when they are in association with diazotrophs, nitrogenase activity is detected because of the diazotrophic N2 fixation. It is not the fungus that fixes N2 as reported earlier. Effective N2 fixing systems, such as the present one, may be used to increase protein content of mushrooms. Our study has implications for future identification of as yet unidentified N2 systems occurring in the environment.

    • Nitrogen fixation in lichens is important for improved rock weathering

      Gamini Seneviratne I K Indrasena

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      It is known that cyanobacteria in cyanolichens fix nitrogen for their nutrition. However, specific uses of the fixed nitrogen have not been examined. The present study shows experimentally that a mutualistic interaction between a heterotrophic N2 fixer and lichen fungi in the presence of a carbon source can contribute to enhanced release of organic acids, leading to improved solubilization of the mineral substrate. Three lichen fungi were isolated fromXanthoparmelia mexicana, a foliose lichen, and they were cultured separately or with a heterotrophic N2 fixer in nutrient broth media in the presence of a mineral substrate. Cells of the N2-fixing bacteria attached to the mycelial mats of all fungi, forming biofilms. All biofilms showed higher solubilizations of the substrate than cultures of their fungi alone. This finding has bearing on the significance of the origin and existence of N2-fixing activity in the evolution of lichen symbiosis. Further, our results may explain why there are N2-fixing photobionts even in the presence of non-fixing photobionts (green algae) in some remarkable lichens such asPlacopsis gelida. Our study sheds doubt on the idea that the establishment of terrestrial eukaryotes was possible only through the association between a fungus and a phototroph.

    • Interactions among endophytic bacteria and fungi: Effects and potentials

      W M M S Bandara Gamini Seneviratne S A Kulasooriya

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      Plants benefit extensively by harbouring endophytic microbes. They promote plant growth and confer enhanced resistance to various pathogens. However, the way the interactions among endophytes influence the plant productivity has not been explained. Present study experimentally showed that endophytes isolated from rice (Oryza sativa) used as the test plant produced two types of interactions; biofilms (bacteria attached to mycelia) and mixed cultures with no such attachments. Acidity, as measured by pH in cultures with biofilms was higher than that of fungi alone, bacteria alone or the mixed cultures. Production of indoleacetic acid like substances (IAAS) of biofilms was higher than that of mixed cultures, fungi or bacteria. Bacteria and fungi produced higher quantities of IAAS than mixed cultures. In mixed cultures, the potential of IAAS production of resident microbes was reduced considerably. There was a negative relationship between IAAS and pH of the biofilms, indicating that IAAS was the main contributor to the acidity. However, such a relationship was not observed in mixed cultures. Microbial acid production is important for suppressing plant pathogens. Thus the biofilm formation in endophytic environment seems to be very important for healthy and improved plant growth. However, it is unlikely that an interaction among endophytes takes place naturally in the endophytic environment, due to physical barriers of plant tissues. Further, critical cell density dependant quorum sensing that leads to biofilm formation may not occur in the endophytic environment as there is a limited space. As suchin vitro production and application of beneficial biofilmed inocula of endophytes are important for improved plant production in any agro-ecosystem. The conventional practice of plant inoculation with monocultures or mixed cultures of effective microbes may not give the highest microbial effect, which may only be achieved by biofilm formation.

  • Journal of Biosciences | News

      Forthcoming Special issue.

    • To trigger further research on plant mitochondria, the Journal of Biosciences is bringing out a special issue titled "Plant Mitochondria: Properties and Interactions with Other Organelles".

      Plant mitochondria are quite distinct and have unique features, such as a cyanide-insensitive alternate pathway. They also interact with chloroplasts to optimize photosynthetic carbon assimilation.

      Submissions are welcome until 30 July 2023. The contributions can be original articles, short communications, reviews, or mini-reviews on any topic related to plant mitochondria.

      Authors can submit their articles online at https://www.editorialmanager.com/jbsc/default2.aspx

      Posted on April 12, 2023
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      Posted on July 25, 2019

      Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode

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