Massively parallel 454 sequencing indicates hyperdiverse fungal communities in temperate Quercus macrocarpa phyllosphere

Authors

  • A. Jumpponen,

    1. Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
    2. Ecological Genomics Institute, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
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  • K. L. Jones

    1. Ecological Genomics Institute, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
    2. Environmental Health Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
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Author for correspondence:
A. Jumpponen
Tel: +1 785 532 6751
Email: ari@ksu.edu

Summary

  • • This study targeted the fungal communities in the phyllosphere of Quercus macrocarpa and compared the fungal species richness, diversity and community composition among trees located within and outside a small urban center using recently developed 454 sequencing and DNA tagging.
  • • The results indicate that the fungal phyllosphere communities are extremely diverse and strongly dominated by ascomycetes, with Microsphaeropsis [two Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs); 23.6%], Alternaria (six OTUs; 16.1%), Epicoccum (one OTU; 6.0%) and Erysiphe (two OTUs; 5.9%) as the most abundant genera.
  • • Although the sequencing effort averaged 1000 reads per tree and detected nearly 700 distinct molecular OTUs at 95% internal transcribed spacer 1 similarity, the richness of the hyperdiverse phyllosphere communities could not be reliably estimated as nearly one-half of the molecular OTUs were singletons.
  • • The fungal communities within and outside the urban center differed in richness and diversity, which were lower within the urban development. The two land-use types contained communities that were distinct and more than 10% of the molecular OTUs differed in their frequency.

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