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Abstract Detail



Mycological Section

Gray, Logan [1], Kernaghan, Gavin [2].

Utilising metagenomics to characterise changes in root associated fungal communities during fine root decomposition in Abies balsamea and Picea rubens.

The fine feeder roots of conifers are relatively short lived and frequently replaced. This fine root turnover represents a large input of root litter into the soil, which is subsequently decomposed by saprotrophic microbes, recycling the sequestered nutrients. Fine roots are inhabited by various functional groups of fungi, but relatively little is known about how these communities change during decomposition. The situation is further complicated as living fine roots also harbour symbiotic and commensal fungi, the roles of which may change upon host tissue senescence. This study tests how root associated fungal communities in the fine feeder roots of Abies balsamea and Picea rubens change during decomposition. We have used metagenomics to characterize changes in fungal communities over a 16 month period. Fine roots undergoing decomposition show an increase in endophytic species during early decomposition, which suggests a role in the decomposition process. As decomposition proceeds, ectomycorrhizal diversity decreases and becomes dominated by Cenococcum geophilum suggesting that less recalcitrant fungi may disappear from the community during early stages of decomposition.


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1 - Saint Mary's University, Biology, 923 Robie Street, Biology, Halifax, NS, B3H 3C3, Canada
2 - Mount Saint Vincent University, Biology, 166 Bedford Highway, Biology, Halifax, NS, B3M 2J6, Canada

Keywords:
Metagenomics
fungal endophytes
ectomycorrhizae
decomposition
Roots
Conifers.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 12
Location: Salon 1/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: 12003
Abstract ID:263
Candidate for Awards:MSA Best Oral Presentation Award by a Graduate Student


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