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Soil Fungal Diversity and Community Composition in Response to Continuous Sweet Potato Cropping Practices

Dan Xiang1,2, Yue Wu2, Huan Li2, Qing Liu2, Zhenfeng Zhou2, Qinghua Chen2, Nan Zhang3, Liang Xu1,2,*
1 Key Laboratory of Degraded and Unused Land Consolidation Engineering, Ministry of Natural Resources, Xi’an, 710075, China
2 College of Resources and Environment, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, 266109, China
3 College of Resources and Environment, Baoshan University, Baoshan, 678000, China
* Corresponding Author: Liang Xu. Email: xuliang@qau.edu.cn

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany https://doi.org/10.32604/phyton.2021.014232

Received 11 September 2020; Accepted 07 December 2020;


Soil fungi are extremely important for maintaining soil health and plant production in agricultural systems. Currently, the effect of continuous cropping of sweet potato on soil fungal communities and physiochemical parameters has not been well documented. In the present study, four sweet potato fields consecutively monocultured for 1, 2, 3, and 4 years were selected to investigate the effect of monoculture on soil fungal communities through Illumina MiSeq sequencing. Continuous cropping of sweet potatoes dramatically altered the fungal community composition, whereas fungal diversity was almost unchanged. Ascomycota and Basidiomycota were the most abundant phyla in all soil samples, accounting for 32.59% and 21.14% of the average relative abundance, respectively. The abundance of some potential pathogens, such as Ascobolus spp, specifically Ascobolus stercorarius, and some unknown fungi increased significantly as the sweet potato monoculture period increased, and their presence were highly positively correlated with disease incidence. In contrast, Basidiomycota, Bullera, Fusarium and Trichocladium most likely play roles as antagonists of sweet potato disease development, as their relative abundance decreased significantly over time and were negatively correlated with disease incidence. Redundancy and correlation analyses revealed that soil pH and organic carbon content were the most important factors driving these changes. Our findings provided a dynamic overview of the fungal community and presented a clear scope for screening beneficial fungi and pathogens of sweet potato.


Soil fungal community; internal transcribed spacers; continuous cropping; Illumina Miseq sequencing; soil pH
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