Microfungal-community diversity in Zygophyllum dumosum and Hammada scoparia root zones in the northern Negev Desert

Jun Yu, Isabella Grishkan, Yosef Steinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The soil dilution plate method was used to determine the influences of perennial shrubs on the species diversity and density of cultivable microfungal communities inhabiting the root zones of two perennial shrubs, Zygophyllum dumosum and Hammada scoparia, in the northern Negev Desert, Israel. Soil samples were collected under the canopies of shrubs and the open spaces between them (serving as control) from five depths (0-10, 10-20, 20-30, 30-40, and 40-50cm) during the wet and dry seasons of 2010. Fifty-one species belonging to 31 genera were identified from Zygomycota, teleomorphic and anamorphic Ascomycota, including Coelomycetes. During the wet and dry seasons, 4-10 and 2-6 species were identified at different soil depths beneath perennial shrubs and in the open spaces, while the corresponding colony-forming units (CFUs) varied from 3071 to 27687 and from 3201 to 15247g-1 dry soil. More diverse microfungal communities were collected in the vicinity of perennial shrubs compared to the open spaces during the wet season, while a reverse trend was observed during the dry season. Further study is needed to provide insights into the correlation between compounds of litter and root exudates of perennial shrubs and microfungal-community structure by a combination of molecular and physiological tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-400
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Basic Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Biodiversity
  • Community structure
  • Perennial shrub
  • Soil dilution plate method
  • Spatio-temporal variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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