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Variation in community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with a Cu tolerant plant—Elsholtzia splendens

Yang, Ruyi, Zan, Shuting, Tang, Jianjun, Chen, Xin, Zhang, Qian
Applied soil ecology 2010 v.44 no.3 pp. 191-197
Elsholtzia, soil pollution, copper, polluted soils, heavy metals, mine spoil, phytotoxicity, stress tolerance, roots, symbiosis, vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae, Glomus, mycorrhizal fungi, plant ecology, soil ecology, soil fungi, spatial distribution, community structure, species diversity, phylogeny, genetic relationships, nucleotide sequences, DNA fingerprinting, China
Little is known about the characteristics of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) community in the roots of host plants growing on heavy metal contaminated sites. The objectives of this study were to examine the community structure of AMF associated with the roots of a copper (Cu) tolerant plant—Elsholtzia splendens in a Cu mining area in southeastern Anhui Province, China. Molecular techniques were used to analyze AMF community composition and phylogenetic relationship in E. splendens roots sampled from three Cu mine spoils and two adjacent reference areas. Results obtained showed that root colonization and AMF diversity were very low and negatively correlated with total and extractable Cu concentrations. All the DNA sequences recovered belonged to the genus of Glomus. The principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the AMF community composition varied remarkably among different sites and was related closely to soil properties, especially Cu concentrations. The distribution pattern of AMF species in various sites suggested the degree of AMF tolerance to Cu contamination. The unique AMF species that presented exclusively in heavily contaminated sites need to be further examined for potential application in phytoremediation of metal contaminated soils.