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Plant Ecology Laboratory

Research in our lab focuses on diversity patterns in biological communities, and on the interactions underlying these patterns. The main questions we address are: how do communities vary along natural gradients and gradients of human impact? What are the major assembly rules shaping communities; and are they attributable to biotic interactions or environmental heterogeneity? What are the roles of different biotic interactions - including competition, facilitation, herbivory and symbiosis - in structuring communities? Read more

News archive - January

Plant Ecology Lab in TV

January 2013

Estonian Public Bradcasting has a TV series which introduces Estonian top sciences and it reverberated the activities of Plant Ecology Lab. Look at the program (in Estonian).

New paper addresses rDNA sequence variation in Diversispora sp.

January 2013

Odile Thiéry, Mari Moora, Martti Vasar, Martin Zobel and Maarja Öpik published a paper entitled “Inter- and intrasporal nuclear ribosomal gene sequence variation within one isolate of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, Diversispora sp.” in Symbiosis.

In this paper, they reported nucleotide variation within one spore (intrasporal) and among spores (intersporal) of a Diversispora sp. (Glometomycota) within a ca 4960 bp fragment of the nuclear ribosomal operon. Data for each marker region (SSU, ITS and LSU) originated from the very same spores. Highest variation was observed in ITS region, particularly in ITS1, at both the inter- and intrasporal levels. LSU showed more intersporal variation than SSU. The SSU and the LSU genes had relatively similar evolutionary divergence per spore. Sequence variant richness was not exhaustive for any of the marker regions, indicating that multiple sequences per spore from multiple spores are needed when characterizing a species. This paper provides reference sequences for ecological studies, permitting identification of AMF in environmental samples using any of the ribosomal regions or primer systems amplifying these regions. Read more.

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