2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Characterization of Coprophilous Fungi Using Molecular Methods
Ravin Poudel
Dr. Jose Herrera, Faculty Mentor

Dung, as a substrate, provides a favorable environment for the establishment and maintenance of diverse microbial communities. We sought to characterize and compare the coprophilous (dung inhabiting) fungal communities from four different herbivores collected at two separate sites: pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) and domesticated cow (Bos taurus) from Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, NM, and bison (Bison bison) and black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) from Wind cave National Park, SD. Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of amplified rDNA were sequenced in order to assign taxonomic identity to the fungal communities. Species abundance comparison among the animals using rarefraction curves indicates the lowest fungal diversity in pronghorn dung (n = 21 species). Dung from all assessed animals had a diversity of fungal taxa dominated by species in following orders: Pleosporales (43.74%), Agaricales (12.25%), Pezizales (10.85%) and Neocallimastigales (10.12%). Interestingly, nearly 7.72% of the coprophilous fungi are also found to be associated with the roots of Bouteloua gracilis, a dominant grass species in both sampling sites.

Keywords: Antilocapra americana, Bos taurus, Cynomys ludovicianus, Bison bison, coprophilous fungi, herbivores, molecular methods

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 8-3
Location: SUB-GEO
Time: 4:15

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