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Assessing Belowground Plant Diversity in Wetland Soil through DNA Metabarcoding: Impact of DNA Marker Selection and Analysis of Temporal Patterns

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Title: Assessing Belowground Plant Diversity in Wetland Soil through DNA Metabarcoding: Impact of DNA Marker Selection and Analysis of Temporal Patterns
Author: Fahner, Nicole Allison
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Hajibabaei, Mehrdad
Abstract: This thesis is an investigation of the DNA metabarcoding approach to biodiversity assessment of vascular plant diversity. Specifically, the investigation focused on DNA metabarcoding of environmental DNA extracted from unsorted soil samples. There were two main research goals: to evaluate the suitability of four established DNA marker regions – matK, rbcL, ITS2, and the P6 loop of the trnL intron – for biodiversity assessment of vascular plants and to examine community turnover in total belowground vascular plant diversity. Based on the relative annotation, resolution and recovery ability of the DNA markers, rbcL and ITS2 were recommended for future biodiversity assessments. Annual variability in belowground diversity was consistent in magnitude with previous aboveground observations suggesting that accumulation of plant tissues is not a major restriction for soil-based biodiversity assessments. Finally, an interaction between DNA marker and observed community turnover was identified and positively correlated with length of DNA marker.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/9396
Date: 2015-12
Rights: Attribution 2.5 Canada


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Attribution 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 2.5 Canada