Colonization and molecular diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with the rhizosphere of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) in Benin (West Africa): an exploratory study uri icon

abstract

  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis is an important plant root-fungal partnership/interaction that affects the growth response of crops. We have investigated the molecular diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) colonizing cowpea roots and the associated rhizosphere soil to test the hypothesis that community diversity in rhizosphere soil is similar to that in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) roots. Cowpea plants were grown in farmers' fields located in seven agro-ecological zones of Benin, and soil and root samples were collected. The molecular diversity of the AMF in these samples was assessed after amplification of the large ribosomal subunit of DNA extracted from the soil and the root samples. At fruition, the frequency of mycorrhizal infection was unaffected by the agro-ecological zone, but there were significant differences in the intensity of AMF colonization among the zones. Multiple regression analysis showed that the main factor affecting mycorrhizal frequency at flowering was available phosphorus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed 25 operational taxonomic units belonging to two fungal families (Glomeraceae and Gigasporaceae). The diversity of AMF colonizing roots of cowpea in Benin was high and fairly similar to that in the rhizosphere soil but with a prevalence of the Glomeraceae. Despite the absence of strict host specificity in mycorrhizal symbiosis, there was a preferential association between some AMF species and cowpea cultivar IT96D-610.

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016