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Assessment of functional and structural changes of soil fungal and oomycete communities in holm oak declined dehesas through metabarcoding analysis.

08:00 EDT 29th March 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Assessment of functional and structural changes of soil fungal and oomycete communities in holm oak declined dehesas through metabarcoding analysis."

Forest decline is nowadays a major challenge for ecosystem sustainability. Dehesas, which consists of savannah-like mediterranean ecosystems, are threatened by the holm oak decline in the south-west of Iberian Peninsula. Phytophthora cinnamomi is considered the main agent of holm oak root rot, but little is known about the relationship between diversity of soilborne microbial community and the decline syndrome of holm oak. It would be hypothesized that the changes in the structure and functionality of the soil microbiome might influence tree health status through changes in richness and diversity of beneficial organisms such as mycorrhizal species, or fungal plant pathogens such as Fusarium spp. or Alternaria spp. Total DNA of soil samples from declined oak dehesas was extracted and analyzed through metabarcoding techniques, to evaluate the specific composition and diversity of the fungal and oomycete communities and their relationship with the disease symptoms. The fungal community included a wide range of pathogens and abundance of ectomycorrhizal key taxa related with low defoliation degree. Phytophthora cinnamomi and Pythium spiculum did not appear among the most abundant oomycetes, nor were they related directly to defoliation levels. Moreover, a particular taxon belonging to the genus Trichoderma was strongly correlated with the scarcity of pathogenic Phytophthora spp. The diversity and composition of fungal and oomycete communities were related to the severity of the decline symptoms. The metabarcoding study of microbiome represents a powerful tool to develop biocontrol strategies for the management of the holm oak root rot.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
Pages: 5315

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