Association of chickpea root with soil fungi: a comparison of cultivars
Field crops influence soil microbiota, impacting the health status and productivity of cropping systems. We conducted a two year field experiment using thirteen genotypes of chickpea and applied deep amplicon pyrosequencing to verify whether plant genetics control the fungal community of the root endosphere. We obtained 63796 sequences of ITS1F/ITS2 and 52129 of 18S rDNA gene clustered into 127 non-mycorrhizal and 89 mycorrhizal operational taxonomic units (OTUs), respectively. Plant genotype and year (soil and weather) had significant effects on the fungal community of chickpea root endosphere. The desi genotypes had higher levels of mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal fungal richness and diversity than kabuli genotypes. This study reveals a "genotype effect" of chickpea on the soil microbiota and indicates the possibility to improve the performance of this crop through the selection of genotypes with improved root fungal communities.
arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
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