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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2010 Jan;71(1):34-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2009.00777.x.

Patterns of Fusarium community structure and abundance in relation to spatial, abiotic and biotic factors in soil.

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Institut de recherche en biologie végétale, Université de Montréal and Jardin botanique de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada.


Members of the Fusarium genus are important components of many plant-soil systems worldwide and are responsible for many crop diseases. Knowledge of the relative influence of biotic and abiotic factors on this genus is therefore of broad economic and ecological importance. In order to address this issue, we examined Fusarium communities in soils nearby apparently healthy and symptomatic asparagus plants in 50 fields scattered in four agricultural regions of Québec, Canada. Fusarium community structure and abundance were assessed using genus-specific PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and CFU counts, respectively. Multivariate statistical analyses were used to detect community patterns related to spatial, abiotic and biotic factors. Results suggested that Fusarium community structure (i.e. the presence and absence of the different Fusarium sequence variants in the samples) in soil is mainly related to biotic factors (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and bacterial community structure), whereas Fusarium abundance is more closely related to abiotic factors (mainly clay, organic matter, NH(4), Na and Cu). Some degree of influence of spatial patterns was also observed on both Fusarium community structure and abundance with, for instance, a large regional variation in Fusarium community structure. However, Fusarium community structure was not directly related to the disease status of nearby asparagus plants.

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