Kesanakurti, Prasad R. , Fazekas, Aron J. , Burgess, Kevin , Barrett, Spencer C. H. , Graham, Sean W. , Hajibabaei, Mehrdad , Newmaster, Steve , Percy, Diana , Husband, Brian .
Patterns of plant species diversity below ground as revealed by DNA barcoding.
Potential plant DNA barcode regions from the plastid genome have been identified and tested for their use in discriminating species. However, the applications of barcoding to ecological studies are largely unexplored. Here, we tested the effectiveness of one candidate DNA barcode region for investigating patterns of below ground plant diversity and its determinants, through an analysis of roots. A total of 3800 roots were collected from four randomly positioned soil profiles located in an old field community. More than 1500 roots were sampled for DNA extraction and sequenced for rbcL. Species were identified by comparing root sequences to a sequence library established using the above ground flora. Nearly 85% of sampled roots were successfully identified as belonging to 28 different plant taxa. Root abundance and species diversity were negatively correlated with soil depth. However, individual species had different root profiles, possibly reflecting different root architectures and life histories. Root abundance did not always correspond to taxon frequency above ground and some species exhibited non-random patterns of co-existence. Our results show that barcoding can provide important insights into the organization of diversity below ground and the role of factors such as competition and phylogeny.
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1 - University of Guelph, Integrative Biology, 488 Gordon St., Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada
2 - Columbus State University, Department of Biology, Columbus, GA, 31907-5645
3 - University of Toronto, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 25 Willcocks St., Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3B2, Canada
4 - University of British Columbia, Botanical Garden And Centre For Plant Research, 6804 Sw Marine Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada
5 - University of Guelph, Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, Integrative Biology, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada
6 - University of British Columbia, Department of Botany and Centre for Plant Research, 3529-6270 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Location: Wasatch B/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 4:30 PM