21. Fungal Microbiota Richness and Abundance Found in Conventional Versus Organic

Katherine Morgan Midway University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Cynthia Ryder Midway University, Elizabeth Danks Midway University
Farming techniques used on vegetable crops are believed to influence the health of the soil and microbiota contained in the soil. The purpose of this study was to determine the abundance and richness of fungal microbiota found on farms using both organic and conventional farming techniques. The composition of soil from four farms (two organic and two conventional) in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky was sampled and tested for fungal species during the months of May 2018 to July 2018. To identify any fungal microbiota that may be in the soil samples, dilution of samples, subsampling, and microscopic visualization with lactophenol cotton blue were used to make positive identifications of each sample. These soil samples contained six species of fungi in the organic farms: Aspergillus niger, Clabophialophora species, Cunningamella bertholletiae, Aspergillus variabilis, Mucor species and Aspergillus clavatus; and four species of fungi in conventional farms: Zygomycetes species, Schedoporium profilicans, Anthridium phaespermum, and Aspergillus clavatus. These results show that there is a difference between the abundance and richness of fungal microbiota found on both organic versus conventional farms.
Sustainability, Urban Ecology & Environmental Studies
Poster Presentation