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Metagenomic study of introduced soil fungal communities associated with exotic pine plantations

Dr. Rytas Vilgalys from the Biology Department at Duke University presents:

Centuries of exotic pine plantation forestry across the southern hemisphere have been accompanied by the expansion of their symbiotic ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) communities which are essential for forest establishment and growth.   Species diversity of these exotic EMF communities is greatly reduced relative to their native pine forest communities in the northern hemisphere.  Wherever plantations have been introduced, subsequent invasion by pines into adjacent grassland/native forest has also been accompanied and facilitated by co-invasion by certain species of the exotic EMF community.  We are using metagenomic approaches including nextgen amplicon sequencing and DNA barcoding to study the community ecology and population genetics of EMF communities of exotic pine plantations in Australia, New Zealand and other areas of the southern hemisphere.  ITS metabarcode sequencing from over 380 soil samples collected across Australia and New Zealand reveals that fungal communities under exotic pine plantations harbor fewer than 10 EMF species. Multi-locus DNA barcoding of field-collections and herbarium specimens is being used to trace the geographic origins and distribution of EMF that were co-introduced with exotic pine plantations across different continents.  These studies provide new insight into the biogeography and plantation history of EMF introductions with different pine species.

Friday, February 15, 2019 at 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Science & Engineering Building, 307
1414 Circle Dr, Knoxville, TN 37996

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations




Current Students, Faculty & Staff, General Public


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Contact Name

Karin Grindall

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