Canadian Forest Service Publications

Impact of an 8-year-old transgenic poplar plantation on the ectomycorrhizal fungal community. 2009. Stefani, F.O.P.; Moncalvo, J.-M.; Séguin, A.; Bérubé, J.A.; Hamelin, R.C. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75: 7527-7536.

Year: 2009

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 31837

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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The long-term impact of field-deployed genetically modified trees on soil mutualistic organisms is not well known. This study aimed at evaluating the impact of poplars transformed with a binary vector containing the selectable nptII marker and B-glucuronidase reporter genes on ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi 8 years after field deployment. We generated 2,229 fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) PCR products from 1,150 EM root tips and 1,079 fungal soil clones obtained from the organic and mineral soil horizons within the rhizosphere of three control and three transformed poplars. Fifty EM fungal operational taxonomic units were identified from the 1,706 EM fungal ITS amplicons retrieved. Rarefaction curves from both the root tips and soil clones were close to saturation, indicating that most of the EM species present were recovered. Based on qualitative and/or quantitative a- and B-diversity measurements, statistical analyses did not reveal significant differences between EM fungal communities associated with transformed poplars and the untransformed controls. However, EM communities recovered from the root tips and soil cloning analyses differed significantly from each other. We found no evidence of difference in the EM fungal community structure linked to the long-term presence of the transgenic poplars studied, and we showed that coupling root tip analysis with a soil DNA cloning strategy is a complementary approach to better document EM fungal diversity.