Colonization and community structure of root-associated microorganisms of Sabina vulgaris with soil depth in a semiarid desert ecosystem with shallow groundwater

Takeshi Taniguchi, Hiroyuki Usuki, Junichi Kikuchi, Muneto Hirobe, Naoko Miki, Kenji Fukuda, Guosheng Zhang, Linhe Wang, Ken Yoshikawa, Norikazu Yamanaka

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have been observed in deep soil layers in arid lands. However, change in AMF community structure with soil depth and vertical distributions of the other root-associated microorganisms are unclear. Here, we examined colonization by AMF and dark septate fungi (DSF), as well as the community structure of AMF and endophytic fungi (EF) and endophytic bacteria (EB) in association with soil depth in a semiarid desert with shallow groundwater. Roots of Sabina vulgaris and soils were collected from surface to groundwater level at 20-cm intervals. Soil chemistry (water content, total N, and available P) and colonization of AMF and DSF were measured. Community structures of AMF, EF, and EB were examined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. AMF colonization decreased with soil depth, although it was mostly higher than 50%. Number of AMF phylotypes decreased with soil depth, but more than five phylotypes were observed at depths up to 100 cm. Number of AMF phylotypes had a significant and positive relationship with soil moisture level within 0-15% of soil water content. DSF colonization was high but limited to soil surface. Number of phylotypes of EF and EB were diverse even in deep soil layers, and the community composition was associated with the colonization and community composition of AMF. This study indicates that AMF species richness in roots decreases but is maintained in deep soil layers in semiarid regions, and change in AMF colonization and community structure associates with community structure of the other root-associated microorganisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-428
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012



  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • Endophytic bacteria
  • Endophytic fungi
  • Mu-us desert (China)
  • Semiarid land
  • Vertical distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology

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