Using DNA metabarcoding to characterise the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in roots of native and invasive plants

Dr Antonio Roldán


“Our lab has carried out several projects (bacteria, fungi, and AM fungi) with the invaluable assistance of AllGenetics. This collaboration has yielded excellent publications and positive feedback. They are always willing to solve any doubts or requests. Consequently, I strongly recommend AllGenetics services… You will never be disappointed”


The research team wanted to compare the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities hosted by the invasive plant Pennisetum setaceum with those from the coexisting native plant Hyparrhenia hirta at different semiarid locations with different edaphic characteristics. Thanks to our expertise in DNA metabarcoding of AMF, we were able to offer them a cost-effective solution.


DNA was isolated from the thinner roots of each plant sample using a commercial kit. A fragment of the 18S rRNA gene, typically used to characterise AMF species, was amplified during DNA metabarcoding library preparation, and sequenced. We pre-processed and analysed the MiSeq reads and used the MaarjAM database as a reference to obtain the species composition of each sample.


The researchers found that the AMF species detected in the native and invasive species were not plant-specific but rather location-specific. They concluded that P. setaceum is able to associate with local AMF communities outside its native range. This research has been published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.