Metagenomic analysis of fungal diversity on strawberry plants and the effect of management practices on the fungal community structure of aerial organs

A. Abdelfattah, M. Wisniewski, M.G. LI DESTRI NICOSIA, S.O. Cacciola, L. Schena

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An amplicon metagenomic approach based on the ITS2 region of fungal rDNA was used to identify the composition of fungal communities associated with different strawberry organs (leaves, flowers, immature and mature fruits), grown on a farm using management practices that entailed the routine use of various chemical pesticides. ITS2 sequences clustered into 316 OTUs and Ascomycota was the dominant phyla (95.6%) followed by Basidiomycota (3.9%). Strawberry plants supported a high diversity of microbial organisms, but two genera, Botrytis and Cladosporium, were the most abundant, representing 70–99% of the relative abundance (RA) of all detected sequences. According to alpha and beta diversity analyses, strawberry organs displayed significantly different fungal communities with leaves having the most diverse fungal community, followed by flowers, and fruit. The interruption of chemical treatments for one month resulted in a significant modification in the structure of the fungal community of leaves and flowers while immature and mature fruit were not significantly affected. Several plant pathogens of other plant species, that would not be intuitively expected to be present on strawberry plants such as Erysiphe, were detected, while some common strawberry pathogens, such as Rhizoctonia, were less evident or absent.
Original languageEnglish
Article number e0160470
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Phyllosphere
  • Carposphere
  • Fruit Microbiome
  • Plant Diseases
  • microbiota
  • fungal community

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