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Intraspecific genetic variation in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and its consequences for molecular biology, ecology, and development of inoculum
Canadian Journal of Botany
4th International Conference on Mycorrizae (ICOM 2003) Montreal, CANADA, AUG, 2003
It has been known for some time that different arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) taxa confer differences in plant growth. Although genetic variation within AMF species has been given less attention, it could potentially be an ecologically important source of variation. Ongoing studies on variability in AMF genes within Glomus intraradices indicate that at least for some genes, such as the BiP gene, sequence variability can be high, even in coding regions. This suggests that genetic variation within an AMF may not be selectively neutral. This clearly needs to be investigated in more detail for other coding regions of AMF genomes. Similarly, studies on AMF population genetics indicate high genetic variation in AMF populations, and a considerable amount of variation seen in phenotypes in the population can be attributed to genetic differences among the fungi. The existence of high within-species genetic variation could have important consequences for how investigations on AMF gene expression and function are conducted. Furthermore, studies of within-species genetic variability and how it affects variation in plant growth will help to identify at what level of precision ecological studies should be conducted to identify AMF in plant roots in the field. A population genetic approach to studying AMF genetic variability can also be useful for inoculum development. By knowing the amount of genetic variability in an AMF population, the maximum and minimum numbers of spores that will contain a given amount of genetic diversity can be estimated. This could be particularly useful for developing inoculum with high adaptability to different environments.
arbuscular mycorrhizas, symbiosis, genomics, genetic diversity, population genetics, evolutionary ecology
Web of science
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