Diversity of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonizing Clintonia borealis from a mixed-wood boreal forest

Tonia DeBellis, Paul Widden
FEMS Microbiology Ecology 2006, 58 (2): 225-35
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities in Clintonia borealis roots from a boreal mixed forests in northwestern Québec were investigated. Roots were sampled from 100 m2 plots whose overstory was dominated by either trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), white birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.), or mixed white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) and balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.). Part of the 18S ribosomal gene of the AMF was amplified and the resulting PCR products were cloned. Restriction analysis of the 576 resulting clones yielded 92 different restriction patterns which were then sequenced. Fifty-two sequences closely matched other Glomus sequences from Genbank. Phylogenetic analysis revealed 10 different AMF sequence types, most of which clustered with other uncultured AM sequences from plant roots from various field sites. Compared with other AMF communities from comparable studies, richness and diversity were higher than observed in an arable field, but lower than seen in a tropical forest and a temperate wetland. The AMF communities from Clintonia roots under the different canopy types did not differ significantly and the dominant sequence type, which clustered with AM sequences from a variety of environments and hosts at distant geographical locations, represented 66.9% of all the clones analyzed.

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