Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Exhibit Hall, Oregon Convention Center
An important factor in the performance of out-planted conifers is the association of plant roots with ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungi, as they are a major functional guild across almost all forest ecosystems. In view of the paucity of information available about the diversity of root-associated EcM Fungi of Pinus wallichiana
, an endemic coniferous species of Himalayan forests, Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS)-based molecular profiling was carried out to document the diversity of EcM fungi associated with this conifer. The study was carried at three major forest areas of Kashmir Himalaya believed to be pure stands of Pinus wallichiana
with altitudes ranging between 1800 to 3000 masl. Fine root-tips harbouring EcM were processed for extraction of fungal DNA and subjected subsequently to ITS region targeted PCR/ RFLP analyses. Double pass DNA sequencing analysis of the overlapping ITS amplifications followed by global nucleotide-blast analyses of the assembled nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA)
the study has revealed a total of 32 fungal taxa associated with P. wallichiana. Out of the total species pool, 24 species are known EcM fungi. Fungal species richness showed a decreasing trend with increasing elevation - a pattern that is commonly observed in both macro- and microorganisms. These preliminary results set a baseline for the broad association of ectomycorrhizal fungi with P. wallichiana which may serve as guiding cue to design reforestation programs in Himalayas.