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Abstract Detail

Mycological Section

Chung, Yan-Yi Anny [1], Taylor, D. Lee [1], Kuske, Cheryl R. [2], Sinsabaugh, Robert L. [1], Rudgers, Jennifer A. [1].

Probing the functional and community composition of desert fungi using selective baiting and culturing.

Shotgun metagenomics in combination with targeted pyrosequencing is a common approach to describing microbial communities. However, functional gene annotation is hard-pressed to keep up with the abundance of genomic data generated by such studies, and a large fraction of genes remain unannotated. In addition, gene annotation prescribes function at the sub-organismal level, which is far-removed from deducing the ecological roles or contributions to ecosystem function of microbial community members. In this study, we complemented molecular characterization of aridland biological soil crust and rhizosphere fungal communities with a fungal baiting experiment to assay catabolic functions. Field crust and rhizosphere soil samples were baited with recalcitrant substrates (cellulose, chitin, inositol hexaphosphate), and incubated under field ambient conditions to select for community members that utilize each substrate. Fungal hyphae and spores within the bait compartment were then harvested and used to establish single-strain cultures on similar substrate-selective media. Fungal community composition showed strong divergence among bait types and site origin, as well as significant divergence between rhizosphere and crust communities interacting with bait type. In addition, we saw strong divergence in fungal community members of the same sample incubated for 5 months compared to a 15 month period, indicating high turnover of community composition likely related to variation in fungal growth and life history strategy.

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1 - University of New Mexico, 1 University of New Mexico, Department of Biology, Castetter Hall, MSC03 2020
2 - Los Alamos National Laboratories

fungal biology
fungal cultures
functional groups

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 29
Location: Salon 1/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 8:45 AM
Number: 29004
Abstract ID:943
Candidate for Awards:MSA Best Oral Presentation Award by a Graduate Student

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