SP 7: Mycorrhiza

Soil microbial and mycorrhizal fungal diversity

Principal investigator(s):

Prof. Dr. François Buscot (UFZ Leipzig-Halle)


Co-Principal investigator(s):

Dr. Tesfaye Wubet (UFZ Leipzig-Halle)


Phd candidate(s):

Christina Lachmann (UFZ Leipzig-Halle)


Contact adress:

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research UFZ Leipzig-Halle, Department of Soil Ecology, Theodor-Lieser-Straße 4, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany


Roots are involved in complex interaction networks with soil microorganisms. Different symbiotic mycorrhizal associations with soil fungi formed during the evolution, which rule nutrient acquisition, diversity of plant formations and soil stability. The complex relationships can only be disentangled by extending current investigations to non temperate regions. In addition a high throughput data production on a wide range of soil microorganisms (mycorrhiza, decomposing bacteria and fungi) is essential. To meet this challenge, the present project is embedded in a field biodiversity experiment in subtropical forests of China. In the frame of the subproject 7, DNA and RNA based arrays are developed to monitor the diversity of mycorrhizas and other microorganisms in field plots on which the tree and shrub diversity was manipulated. The arrays are developed from metagenomic libraries constructed with DNA from the field sites soils. Libraries are sequenced by the state-of-the-art GS FLX+ technology providing a fine resolution of the soil microbial community. The data will be integrated in complex correlation analyses with the ones of further projects participating to the Research Unit. The goal of this research is to a) determine the main drivers of microbial community composition in subtropical forests in the early stage after reforestation b) assess the functional contribution of soil bacteria and soil fungi in the subtropical region by a greenhouse phosphorous limitation experiment.

One experimental forest plot at Site A