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An improved method for extraction of soil fungal mycelium

Awad, A. and Pena, R. (2023) An improved method for extraction of soil fungal mycelium. MethodsX, 11. 102477. ISSN 2215-0161

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.mex.2023.102477


Fungal mycelium is a major component of the soil microbiome. The soil hyphosphere represents a complex and dynamic niche for specific microorganisms, where multitrophic interactions occur, affecting ecosystem processes. However, extracting fungal mycelium from the soil to enable its taxonomical, chemical, and structural characterisation is challenging in the absence of a fast, efficient, and low-cost procedure. In this study, an old method (Bingle and Paul 1985), based on successive soil wet filtrations and density gradient centrifugation, was improved and tested in three different soil types (silty clay, silty clay loam, and loamy sand). The improved method reduced the number of filtrations by about five times and the centrifugation time from 40 min to 1 min. It avoided using any chemical substance which may impair further chemical analyses or DNA isolation and amplification. The method efficiency was about 50 % in the clay and 23 % in the sandy soils. However, a pre-step consisting of removing the fine-root fragments and other debris under the stereomicroscope may increase the method efficiency to more than 65 %, independent of the soil type. • A simple, efficient, and low-cost method suitable for extracting soil mycelium from a large number of samples. • The protocol includes successive soil wet filtrations and sucrose gradient centrifugation. • The method efficiency increases if the fine-root fragments and other debris are previously removed from the soil.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:114150


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