Research on fungi to optimize their utility
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Microbiome from the rhizosphere of Afzelia africana under biotic and abiotic factors in Benin

Afzelia africana Sm. (Fabaceae-Caesalpinioideae), is a threatened multipurpose tree, known to live in association with microorganisms in its immediate surrounding soil. The microbiome (fungi and bacteria) is responsible for a large flow of nutrients that is indispensable to the growth and fitness of the forest tree. However, the understanding of the factors that drive the diversity and composition of the soil microbiome and Afzelia africana remains untapped as its feedback onto the life traits and growth performance of the tree. Further, several fruit bodies of EcM fungi are collected under A. africana from Guineo-Sudanese to Sudanese parts of its distribution in Benin, unlike in the Guinean ecozone. As such, we hypothesize that macroclimate and soil properties may alter the fruiting of EcM fungi associated to A. africana in its Guinean distribution zone. Alternatively, we will test the effect of plant communities, human-induce threats, and plant functional traits in regulating the diversity and composition of the microbiome associated with A. africana

Barked tree of A. africana (Gori, 2020)

Soil sample taken using an auger (Tchan, 2018)