Mycorrhiza 32 (5-6) 361-371 [2022-11-00; online 2022-09-26]
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are ubiquitous mutualistic symbionts of most terrestrial plants and many complete their lifecycles underground. Whole genome analysis of AM fungi has long been restricted to species and strains that can be maintained under controlled conditions that facilitate collection of biological samples. There is some evidence suggesting that AM fungi can adapt to culture resulting in phenotypic and possibly also genotypic changes in the fungi. In this study, we used field isolated spores of AM fungi and identified them as Funneliformis geosporum based on morphology and phylogenetic analyses. We separately assembled the genomes of two representative spores using DNA sequences of 19 and 22 individually amplified nuclei. The genomes were compared with previously published data from other members of Glomeraceae including two strains of F. mosseae. No significant differences were observed among the species in terms of gene content, while the single nucleotide polymorphism density was higher in the strains of F. geosporum than in the strains of F. mosseae. In this study, we demonstrate that it is possible to sequence and assemble genomes from AM fungal spores sampled in the field, which opens up the possibility to include uncultured AM fungi in phylogenomic and comparative genomic analysis and to study genomic variation in natural populations of these important plant symbionts.