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Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities in the Soils of Desert Habitats

Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, 51005 Tartu, Estonia
Department of Ecology and Plant Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119234 Moscow, Russia
Zoology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, CONICET, Córdoba 5000, Argentina
Departamento de Biología Agrícola, Facultad de Agronomía y Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, Río Cuarto 5804, Argentina
Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef 62511, Egypt
Department of Botany, University of Tartu, Tartu 51006, Estonia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alberto Miguel Stchigel
Microorganisms 2021, 9(2), 229;
Received: 30 December 2020 / Revised: 15 January 2021 / Accepted: 19 January 2021 / Published: 22 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hotspots of Fungal Diversity)
Deserts cover a significant proportion of the Earth’s surface and continue to expand as a consequence of climate change. Mutualistic arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are functionally important plant root symbionts, and may be particularly important in drought stressed systems such as deserts. Here we provide a first molecular characterization of the AM fungi occurring in several desert ecosystems worldwide. We sequenced AM fungal DNA from soil samples collected from deserts in six different regions of the globe using the primer pair WANDA-AML2 with Illumina MiSeq. We recorded altogether 50 AM fungal phylotypes. Glomeraceae was the most common family, while Claroideoglomeraceae, Diversisporaceae and Acaulosporaceae were represented with lower frequency and abundance. The most diverse site, with 35 virtual taxa (VT), was in the Israeli Negev desert. Sites representing harsh conditions yielded relatively few reads and low richness estimates, for example, a Saudi Arabian desert site where only three Diversispora VT were recorded. The AM fungal taxa recorded in the desert soils are mostly geographically and ecologically widespread. However, in four sites out of six, communities comprised more desert-affiliated taxa (according to the MaarjAM database) than expected at random. AM fungal VT present in samples were phylogenetically clustered compared with the global taxon pool, suggesting that nonrandom assembly processes, notably habitat filtering, may have shaped desert fungal assemblages. View Full-Text
Keywords: assembly rules; dryland; fungal community; fungal diversity; mycorrhiza assembly rules; dryland; fungal community; fungal diversity; mycorrhiza
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vasar, M.; Davison, J.; Sepp, S.-K.; Öpik, M.; Moora, M.; Koorem, K.; Meng, Y.; Oja, J.; Akhmetzhanova, A.A.; Al-Quraishy, S.; Onipchenko, V.G.; Cantero, J.J.; Glassman, S.I.; Hozzein, W.N.; Zobel, M. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities in the Soils of Desert Habitats. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 229.

AMA Style

Vasar M, Davison J, Sepp S-K, Öpik M, Moora M, Koorem K, Meng Y, Oja J, Akhmetzhanova AA, Al-Quraishy S, Onipchenko VG, Cantero JJ, Glassman SI, Hozzein WN, Zobel M. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities in the Soils of Desert Habitats. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(2):229.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vasar, Martti, John Davison, Siim-Kaarel Sepp, Maarja Öpik, Mari Moora, Kadri Koorem, Yiming Meng, Jane Oja, Asem A. Akhmetzhanova, Saleh Al-Quraishy, Vladimir G. Onipchenko, Juan J. Cantero, Sydney I. Glassman, Wael N. Hozzein, and Martin Zobel. 2021. "Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities in the Soils of Desert Habitats" Microorganisms 9, no. 2: 229.

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