Molecular diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and their distribution patterns related to host-plants and habitats in a hot and arid ecosystem, southwest China

Ling-Fei Li, Tao Li, Yan Zhang, Zhi-Wei Zhao
FEMS Microbiology Ecology 2010, 71 (3): 418-27
The communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) colonizing the roots of Bothriochloa pertusa, Cajanus cajan and Heteropogon contortus in a fallow land (FL) and an undisturbed land (UL) were characterized. The large subunit rDNA genes of AMF from roots were amplified and cloned. A total of 2353 clones were screened by restriction fragment length polymorphism, and 428 clones were subsequently sequenced. A total of 393 AMF sequences, which were grouped into 100 operational taxonomic units, were obtained. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the AMF sequences belonged to Glomus, Acaulospora and Scutellospora, and that Glomus was the dominant genus. Of the 393 AMF sequences, 81% were novel. The diversity of AMF colonizing the same plant species was higher in the UL than in the FL, which confirmed strongly from the molecular evidence that soil disturbance reduced AMF population and species richness. The results revealed that AMF communities were significantly different among host-plant species and between the two habitats. The similarity of AMF communities colonizing different plant species within a habitat was higher than that of the same plant species from different habitats. The molecular evidence supported our previous hypothesis based on morphological analyses that AMF communities were more influenced by habitats compared with host preference.

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