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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2008 Sep;74(18):5776-83. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00719-08. Epub 2008 Aug 1.

Preferential colonization of Solanum tuberosum L. roots by the fungus Glomus intraradices in arable soil of a potato farming area.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Ambiente e della Vita, Università del Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro, via Bellini 25/G, 15100 Alessandria, Italy.


The symbiosis between plant roots and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi has been shown to affect both the diversity and productivity of agricultural communities. In this study, we characterized the AM fungal communities of Solanum tuberosum L. (potato) roots and of the bulk soil in two nearby areas of northern Italy, in order to verify if land use practices had selected any particular AM fungus with specificity to potato plants. The AM fungal large-subunit (LSU) rRNA genes were subjected to nested PCR, cloning, sequencing, and phylogenetic analyses. One hundred eighty-three LSU rRNA sequences were analyzed, and eight monophyletic ribotypes, belonging to Glomus groups A and B, were identified. AM fungal communities differed between bulk soil and potato roots, as one AM fungal ribotype, corresponding to Glomus intraradices, was much more frequent in potato roots than in soils (accounting for more than 90% of sequences from potato samples and less than 10% of sequences from soil samples). A semiquantitative heminested PCR with specific primers was used to confirm and quantify the AM fungal abundance observed by cloning. Overall results concerning the biodiversity of AM fungal communities in roots and in bulk soils from the two studied areas suggested that potato roots were preferentially colonized by one AM fungal species, G. intraradices.

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