Due to the increasing demand for phytoremediation, many transgenic poplars have been developed to enhance the bioremediation of heavy metals. However, structural changes to indigenous fungal communities by genetically modified organisms (GMO) presents a major ecological issue, due to the important role of fungi for plant growth in natural environments. To evaluate the effect of GM plant use on environmental fungal soil communities, extensive sequencing-based community analysis was conducted, while controlling the influence of plant clonality, plant age, soil condition, and harvesting season. The rhizosphere soils of GM and wild type (WT) poplars at a range of growth stages were sampled together with unplanted, contaminated soil, and the fungal community structures were investigated by pyrosequencing the D1/D2 region of the 28S rRNA gene. The results show that the overall structure of the rhizosphere fungal community was not significantly influenced by GM poplars. However, the presence of GM specific taxa, and faster rate of community change during poplar growth, appeared to be characteristic of the GM plant-induced effects on soil-born fungal communities. The results of this study provide additional information about the potential effects of GM poplar trees aged 1. 5-3 years, on the soil fungal community.
- fungal community
- metal contamination
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology