According to a new research, the fungi community might be less diverse than previously thought as scientists try to understand the role of microbial communities in ecology.
The new research was carried out by a group of scientists from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment. In an official press release, Eleonora Egidi wrote, “Scientists know that different fungi in soils are responsible for the way that forests and farmlands work. The wide distribution of a few major fungal types could have been driven by agriculture as these fungi are often associated with crops.”
During the research, the scientists sequenced the DNA of microbes 235 different soil samples from around the world. As the database of the fungal DNA has gone up significantly over the last couple of decades, it allowed the scientists to identify new microbes found within the soil samples from around the world.
Interestingly, the research has shown that the microbial community is consist of a small number of common species. In the paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the scientists wrote, “Whole-genome comparisons with less dominant, generalist fungi point at a significantly higher number of genes related to stress-tolerance and resource uptake in the dominant fungi, suggesting that they might be better in colonizing a wide range of environments.”
The researchers also determined that carnivorous fungal species are also common as they can colonize and eat the carcasses of dead insects as well as plant roots. The scientists concluded, “Given the remarkable versatility of interactions exhibited by these fungal lineages, we hypothesize that possessing flexible trophic capabilities may allow some dominant taxa to occupy multiple environmental niches.”
The group of researchers hopes that the latest finding will help to understand the ecosystem better and to preserve the microbial community.