Soil Determines the Composition of Microfungal Communities Inhabiting the Roots of Maize (Zea mays subsp. mays) and Teosinte (Zea mays subsp. parviglumis)
Ravin Poudel* and Deepak Bokati♦
Dr. Jose Herrera, Faculty Mentor
Our recent studies revealed soil as a prominent factor determining the composition of microfungal communities inhabiting the roots of maize: B73 (Zea mays subsp. mays) and its progenitor, teosinte (Zea mays subsp. parviglumis), grown in native and desert soil. Native fescue grass (Festuca arundinacea) was used as a control for our study. Taxonomic molecular identification of fungal species based upon the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of rDNA obtained from roots of each plant showed Pleosporales spp. as a dominant fungal species inhabiting roots of both maize and teosinte grown in desert soil. Conversely, Glomerales spp. were the dominant species inhabiting roots of plant grown in native soil. Strikingly, pleosporean sequences also include Paraphaeosphaeria spp., one of the dominant and common fungal species described in various grass species across the North America, suggesting that these fungal association are general in nature and possibly help plants in nutrient uptake and growth, and are evolutionarily important.
Keywords: Zea mays subsp. mays , Zea mays subsp. parviglumis, Microfungal , Festuca arundinacea , Internal Transcribed Spacer, Pleosporales spp. , Glomerales spp. , Paraphaeosphaeria spp.
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Location: MG 1098