Molecular diversity and distribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonizing peach (Prunus persica) and apple (Malus pumila) trees in a sustainable small market garden
Plant Pathology & Quarantine
We characterized the molecular diversity and distribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in the roots of apple and peach trees found at Grand Valley State University's Sustainable Agriculture Project small market garden. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal root colonization observed in cleared and stained roots ranged from 11-43%. The molecular identity of the fungal symbionts was determined based on phylogenetic analyses of isolated small subunit ribosomal DNA sequences. Twenty-seven
... enty-seven arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal sequences in the phylum Glomeromycota were isolated from roots of apple and peach trees with 96% of those sequences in family Glomeraceae including the genera Rhizophagus and Sclerocystis, and 4% of the sequences share identity with fungi in the family Paraglomeraceae. Four of the isolated arbuscular mycorrhizal sequences were shared between different apple and peach trees. Peach tree roots had the highest arbuscular mycorrhizal richness of trees sampled. Our analyses suggest that apple and peach trees in small gardens may form arbuscular mycorrhizal associations with different fungi than apple and peach trees of larger scale agricultural operations. Furthermore, the presence of shared AMF sequences between different fruit trees suggests the presence of common mycorrhizal networks that may serve an important function in the health and productivity of small market gardens.