Potato-associated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in the Peruvian Andes
The world's fourth largest food crop, potato, originates in the Andes. Here, the community composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associated with potato in Andean ecosystems is described for the first time. AMF were studied in potato roots and rhizosphere soil at four different altitudes from 2,658 to 4,075 m above mean sea level (mamsl) and in three plant growth stages (emergence, flowering, and senescence). AMF species were distinguished by sequencing an approx. 1,500 bp nuclear rDNA region. Twenty species of AMF were identified, of which 12 came from potato roots and 15 from rhizosphere soil. Seven species were found in both roots and soil. Interestingly, altitude affected species composition with the highest altitude exhibiting the greatest species diversity. The three most common colonizers of potato roots detected were Funneliformis mosseae, an unknown Claroideoglomus sp., and Rhizophagus irregularis. Notably, the potato-associated AMF diversity observed in this Andean region is much higher than that reported for potato in other ecosystems. Potato plants were colonized by diverse species from 8 of the 11 Glomeromycota families. Identification of the AMF species is important for their potential use in sustainable management practices to improve potato production in the Andean region.
KeywordsAndes Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Community analysis Roots and rhizosphere Nuclear rDNA Solanum tuberosum
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