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Disclosing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal biodiversity in soil through a land-use gradient using a pyrosequencing approach

Lumini, Erica, Orgiazzi, Alberto, Borriello, Roberto, Bonfante, Paola, Bianciotto, Valeria
Environmental microbiology 2010 v.12 no.8 pp. 2165-2179
Archaeosporales, Diversisporales, Glomerales, Paraglomerales, biodiversity, genes, humans, land use, meadows, mycorrhizal fungi, pastures, ribosomal RNA, shrubs, soil, trees, vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae, vineyards, Italy
The biodiversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities present in five Sardinian soils (Italy) subjected to different land-use (tilled vineyard, covered vineyard, pasture, managed meadow and cork-oak formation) was analysed using a pyrosequencing-based approach for the first time. Two regions of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene were considered as molecular target. The pyrosequencing produced a total of 10924 sequences: 6799 from the first and 4125 from the second target region. Among these sequences, 3189 and 1003 were selected to generate operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and to evaluate the AMF community richness and similarity: 117 (37 of which were singletons) and 28 (nine of which were singletons) unique AMF OTUs were detected respectively. Within the Glomeromycota OTUs, those belonging to the Glomerales order were dominant in all the soils. Diversisporales OTUs were always detected, even though less frequently, while Archaeosporales and Paraglomerales OTUs were exclusive of the pasture soil. Eleven OTUs were shared by all the soils, but each of the five AMF communities showed particular features, suggesting a meaningful dissimilarity among the Glomeromycota populations. The environments with low inputs (pasture and covered vineyard) showed a higher AMF biodiversity than those subjected to human input (managed meadow and tilled vineyard). A reduction in AMF was found in the cork-oak formation because other mycorrhizal fungal species, more likely associated to trees and shrubs, were detected. These findings reinforce the view that AMF biodiversity is influenced by both human input and ecological traits, illustrating a gradient of AMF communities which mirror the land-use gradient. The high number of sequences obtained by the pyrosequencing strategy has provided detailed information on the soil AMF assemblages, thus offering a source of light to shine on this crucial soil microbial group.