A PCR/RFLP technique to characterize fungal species in Eucalyptus grandis Hill ex. Maiden ectomycorrhizas
With the increasing awareness of the significance of mycorrhizas, research is focusing on studies to elucidate the contribution of the symbiosis to ecosystem dynamics. In this sense, molecular biology has acquired great significance. PCR/RFLP techniques were adapted to characterize ectomycorrhizal fungi associated with Eucalyptus grandis. The ITS region of the fungal rDNA from pure cultures and from of mycorrhizas synthesized in vitro was amplified. Primers NSA3/NLC2 were used followed by a nested reaction with primers ITS1F/NLB3. Amplicons were then digested with the enzymes MboI, HinfI and TaqI. Amplification resulted in a 1,000-bp fragment for basidiomycetes and a 1,500 bp fragment for Cenococcum geophillum (an ascomycete). There was no amplification of the plant DNA. The enzymes MboI and HinfI were more effective than TaqI, resulting in patterns of two to five fragments allowing the identification of the isolates both in culture and in mycorrhizas. HinfI allowed greater differentiation among the isolates and a higher number of polymorphisms. Restriction with TaqI resulted in too many fragments. Amplification efficiency for the fungal DNA was 64% in culture and 87% in mycorrhizas. The modified methodology represents a valuable tool to complement traditional approaches in ecosystem studies.
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