RNA- and DNA-based profiling of soil fungal communities in a native Australian eucalypt forest and adjacent Pinus elliotti plantation
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Total and active soil fungal communities in a native eucalypt forest and first rotation Pinus elliotti plantation were investigated by direct extraction of DNA and RNA from soil. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and 18S rRNA profiles indicated that total and active fungal communities differed significantly in both forest types. This was supported by DGGE profile analysis on an individual plot basis for both forest types and when groups in the canonical analysis were redefined to allow comparison between forest types. Analyses of both ITS and 18S T-RFLP profiles indicated that conversion from native eucalypt forest to P. elliottii plantation may significantly alter total and active soil fungal communities. ITS DGGE (DNA) and 18S (RNA) profiles also suggested differences in fungal communities in the two forest types. No significant separation of the fungal communities in the two forest types was observed, however, when ITS DGGE (RNA) profiles were compared. Overall, the data suggest that conversion from native eucalypt forest to P. elliottii plantation at the Beerburrum State Forest in subtropical Australia has significantly altered soil fungal communities.
Soil Biology & Biochemistry
Copyright 2007 Elsevier. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.