Data from: The rpb2 gene represents a viable alternative molecular marker for the analysis of environmental fungal communities
Větrovský, Tomáš et al. (2015), Data from: The rpb2 gene represents a viable alternative molecular marker for the analysis of environmental fungal communities, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vj3p9
Although the commonly used internal transcribed spacer region of rDNA (ITS) is well suited for taxonomic identification of fungi, the information on the relative abundance of taxa and diversity is negatively affected by the multicopy nature of rDNA and the existence of ITS paralogues. Moreover, due to high variability, ITS sequences cannot be used for phylogenetic analyses of unrelated taxa. The part of single-copy gene encoding the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (rpb2) was thus compared with first spacer of ITS as an alternative marker for the analysis of fungal communities in spruce forest topsoil, and their applicability was tested on a comprehensive mock community. In soil, rpb2 exhibited broad taxonomic coverage of the entire fungal tree of life including basal fungal lineages. The gene exhibited sufficient variation for the use in phylogenetic analyses and taxonomic assignments, although it amplifies also paralogues. The fungal taxon spectra obtained with rbp2 region and ITS1 corresponded, but sequence abundance differed widely, especially in the basal lineages. The proportions of OTU counts and read counts of major fungal groups were close to the reality when rpb2 was used as a molecular marker while they were strongly biased towards the Basidiomycota when using the ITS primers ITS1/ITS4. Although the taxonomic placement of rbp2 sequences is currently more difficult than that of the ITS sequences, its discriminative power, quantitative representation of community composition and suitability for phylogenetic analyses represent significant advantages.
Bohemian Forest mountain range