Project Title

Detection and Identification of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Surrounding Microbiome in Two Riparian Tree Species

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Paula Jackson

Abstract (300 words maximum)

This research forms part of a larger project investigating the feasibility of using American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.) in addition to Black Willow (Salix nigraMarshall) in restoration of riparian areas. Riparian vegetation functions in the regeneration of ground water sources, in the removal of excess nutrients and sediments from surface runoff, and in maintaining favorable environmental conditions for life in this system.

Preliminary studies in our lab comparing the two riparian species, found that although both were colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF); the rates of colonization, as quantified under the microscope, differed among both species. In addition, recent research suggests that the plant root microbiome may play an important role in plant health and well being and that plants may be able to influence their root microbiome, recruiting beneficial microorganisms and suppressing pathogens.

We hypothesize that both riparian species will be colonized by the same AMF types, but will differ in other aspects of their microbiome community. To identify AMF within each plant root and establish whether samples came from each plant species, we extracted DNA from root samples using theDNeasy Powersoil Kit (Qiagen). For the identification of AMF after DNA extraction, we targeted the small subunit of rRNA genes using AML1 and AML2 primers to amplify and distinguish among subgroups of Glomeromycotafungi. To identify the host plant DNA, a similar protocol was ran using AB101 and AB102 primers. The electrophoresis gels showed that most of our samples had very pronounced bands of amplified AMF DNA but had very faint or no bands of plant DNA. The microbiome results showed similar percent colonization of certain phyla among both species. The next step in our research is to distinguish the types of AMF in our sample roots and to repeat amplification of our plant DNA.

Project Type

Poster

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Detection and Identification of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Surrounding Microbiome in Two Riparian Tree Species

This research forms part of a larger project investigating the feasibility of using American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.) in addition to Black Willow (Salix nigraMarshall) in restoration of riparian areas. Riparian vegetation functions in the regeneration of ground water sources, in the removal of excess nutrients and sediments from surface runoff, and in maintaining favorable environmental conditions for life in this system.

Preliminary studies in our lab comparing the two riparian species, found that although both were colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF); the rates of colonization, as quantified under the microscope, differed among both species. In addition, recent research suggests that the plant root microbiome may play an important role in plant health and well being and that plants may be able to influence their root microbiome, recruiting beneficial microorganisms and suppressing pathogens.

We hypothesize that both riparian species will be colonized by the same AMF types, but will differ in other aspects of their microbiome community. To identify AMF within each plant root and establish whether samples came from each plant species, we extracted DNA from root samples using theDNeasy Powersoil Kit (Qiagen). For the identification of AMF after DNA extraction, we targeted the small subunit of rRNA genes using AML1 and AML2 primers to amplify and distinguish among subgroups of Glomeromycotafungi. To identify the host plant DNA, a similar protocol was ran using AB101 and AB102 primers. The electrophoresis gels showed that most of our samples had very pronounced bands of amplified AMF DNA but had very faint or no bands of plant DNA. The microbiome results showed similar percent colonization of certain phyla among both species. The next step in our research is to distinguish the types of AMF in our sample roots and to repeat amplification of our plant DNA.