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Sultan Qaboos University (2017)

Fungal diversity and the occurrence of antagonistic fungi in organic and conventional farming systems in Oman

Kazerooniyah, Elham Ghasemi

Titre : Fungal diversity and the occurrence of antagonistic fungi in organic and conventional farming systems in Oman

Auteur : Kazerooniyah, Elham Ghasemi

Université de soutenance : Sultan Qaboos University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Crop Science 2017

Résumé partiel
In Oman, the farming system in the majority of farms follows a conventional system, which is characterized by growing multiple crops mainly for home consumption, but also for local market and sometimes for export. In addition, some farms have started recently adopting organic farming. This study was conducted to assess fungal diversity in the rhizosphere of crops under conventional and organic farming systems in Oman and also to investigate for the potential presence of antagonistic fungal species that can be used in future biocontrol programs. The first part of the study dealt with evaluating the efficiency of direct plating in comparison to pyrosequencing in estimating fungal diversity in soil, Analysis of 10 soil samples collected from two farms in Oman showed that pyrosequencing detected More ara significantly more fungal phyla, classes and genera compared to direct plating. Pyrosequencing detected five unique fungal classes that were not recovered by direct plating. This could be related to the ability of pyrosequencing to detect uncultivable and slow growing fungal species. The second part of the study analyzed fungal diversity in conventional and organic farms growing cucumbers and tomatoes using pyrosequencing. Pyrosequencing results revealed that fungal diversity varied between the different cultivation systems. Richness estimates indicated that soils from the organic farms have higher fungal diversity compared to soil from conventional farms. Ascomycota and Microsporidia were the most dominant fungal phyla in most of the samples. Other dominant phyla included Chytridiomycota and Basidiomycota, Microsporidetes, Dothideomycetes, Eurotiomycetes and Leotiomycetes were the common classes in most soil samples. Five and four unique classes were detected in the rhizospheres of cucumber and tomato grown organically, respectively. The differential level of fungal diversity within and among farms could be related to the variation in the cultural practices employed. It also shows that organic farming favors higher levels of fungal diversity.

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