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Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi diversity in three different steppes of Xilingol, Inner Mongolia, China

Jianting Ren, Qi Wang, Daolong Xu, Xiufang Li, Yuying Bao

Sydowia 69: 105-114

Published online on January 23th, 2017

The majority of terrestrial plants form symbioses with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) that benefit them in several ways. Different AMF communities induce different growth responses in plants playing a potential role to determine ecosystem variability and productivity. In this study, soil properties, AMF colonization and AMF spores were investigated in three typical steppes, namely, Artemisia frigida steppe, Stipa grandis steppe and Leymus chinensis steppe of Xilingol, Inner Mongolia, China. The nuclear small subunit rRNA gene was amplified from grass samples from each grassland to characterize the AMF community. Our results demonstrated that the same plant displayed diverse AMF colonization in different steppes. Thirteen AMF species belonging to six genera were identified, among which Funneliformis constrictum,F. geosporus and Glomus microaggregatum were dominant species in all plants from three steppes. Spore density was significantly influenced by the plants species as well as the steppe system. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the 16 screened AMF sequences showing high similarity may belong to the Glomeraceae. The present study reveals the grassland ecosystems biodiversity at the AMF community level, which provides theoretical basis for health evaluation and grassland ecosystem protection.

Keywords: AMF fungi, ecosystem, soil factors, steppe communities.

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