Soil DNA pyrosequencing and fruitbody surveys reveal contrasting diversity for various fungal ecological guilds in chestnut orchards

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Abstract

Fungal diversity in Mediterranean forest soils is poorly documented, particularly when considering saprobic and pathogenic organisms. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) methods applied to soil fungi provide the opportunity to unveil the most inconspicuous functional guilds (e.g. saprobes) and life forms (e.g. Corticiaceae) of this tremendous diversity. We used fruitbody surveys over 2 years and soil 454 metabarcoding inCastanea sativaorchards to evaluate respectively the reproductive (fruitbodies) and vegetative (mycelia) parts of fungal communities in three 100-year-old stands. Analysis of 839 fruitbodies and 210 291 ITS1 reads revealed high fungal diversity, mainly shown by belowground analysis, with high (dominant) abundance of mycorrhizal fruitbodies and reads. Both methods displayed contrasted composition and structure of fungal communities, with Basidio- and Ascomycetes dominating above- and belowground, respectively. For the two dominant fungal guilds (i.e. ectomycorrhizal and saprobic), diversity above- and belowground overlapped weakly. This study is the first assessment of the complementarity of fruitbody surveys and NGS for analysing fungal diversity in Mediterranean ecosystems and shows that belowground methods still need to be completed by fruiting diversity to provide a comprehensive overview of the different fungal guilds. The results shed light on chestnut soil biodiversity and question the spatial distribution and synergies among fungal guilds.

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