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Assessment of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity in roots of Solidago gigantea growing in a polluted soil in Northern Italy

Authors

  • Marta Vallino,

    1. Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale – Università degli Studi di Torino, CEBIOVEM and Istituto per la Protezione delle Piante (IPP) del CNR – Sezione Torino, V.le Mattioli 25, 10125 Torino, Italy.
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  • Nadia Massa,

    1. Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Ambiente e della Vita – Università del Piemonte Orientale ‘Amedeo Avogadro’, via Bellini 25/G, 15100 Alessandria, Italy.
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  • Erica Lumini,

    1. Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale – Università degli Studi di Torino, CEBIOVEM and Istituto per la Protezione delle Piante (IPP) del CNR – Sezione Torino, V.le Mattioli 25, 10125 Torino, Italy.
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  • Valeria Bianciotto,

    1. Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale – Università degli Studi di Torino, CEBIOVEM and Istituto per la Protezione delle Piante (IPP) del CNR – Sezione Torino, V.le Mattioli 25, 10125 Torino, Italy.
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  • Graziella Berta,

    Corresponding author
    1. Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Ambiente e della Vita – Università del Piemonte Orientale ‘Amedeo Avogadro’, via Bellini 25/G, 15100 Alessandria, Italy.
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  • Paola Bonfante

    Corresponding author
    1. Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale – Università degli Studi di Torino, CEBIOVEM and Istituto per la Protezione delle Piante (IPP) del CNR – Sezione Torino, V.le Mattioli 25, 10125 Torino, Italy.
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*E-mail graziella.berta@unipmn.it; Tel. (+39) 0131 360232; Fax (+39) 0131 360390 or p.bonfante@ipp.cnr.it; Tel. (+39) 011 6705965; Fax (+39) 011 6705962.

Summary

The arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) status of Solidago gigantea was investigated in a contaminated site of Northern Italy, where the chemical industry ACNA (Associated National Chemical Companies) was active till 1999. To counteract the devastating effects of chemicals and to allow re-vegetation, soil from an uncontaminated area was used to cover the highly polluted hills of the industrial site about 25 years ago. On the basis of the current floristic features, the hill was divided into four areas. Heavy metal content in soil and in plant shoots and roots was determined by chemical analysis. The AM fungal community colonizing S. gigantea was investigated from a morphological and a molecular point of view. All plants were modestly colonized, but the fungal structures within the roots were normal. By PCR-RFLP and sequencing of 18S rDNA, 14 AM fungal types were identified: three of them were present in all the considered areas and nine appeared to be specific to certain areas. Glomus was the predominant AM genus. Our analysis demonstrates the presence and the relatively high level of AM species variety and shows how a remediation programme based on cover-soil has been efficient to restore a community of AM fungi, tolerant enough to proliferate in a still contaminated soil.

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