Fungal species participate in vast numbers of processes in the landscape around us. However, their often cryptic growth, inside various substrates and in highly diverse species assemblages, has been a major obstacle to thorough analysis of fungal communities, hampering exhaustive description of the fungal kingdom. Recent technological developments allowing rapid, high-throughput sequencing of mixed communities from many samples at once are currently having a tremendous impact in fungal community ecology. Universal DNA extraction followed by amplifi cation and sequencing of fungal species-level barcodes such as the nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region now enable identifi cation and relative quantifi cation of fungal community members across well-replicated experimental settings. Here, we present the sample preparation procedure presently used in our laboratory for fungal community analysis by high-throughput sequencing of amplifi ed ITS2 markers. We focus on the procedure optimized for studies of total fungal communities in humus-rich soils, wood, and litter. However, this procedure can be applied to other sample types and markers. We focus on the laboratory-based part of sample preparation, that is, the procedure from the point where samples enter the laboratory until amplicons are submitted for sequencing. Our procedure comprises four main parts: (1) universal DNA extraction, (2) optimization of PCR conditions, (3) production of tagged ITS amplicons, and (4) preparation of the multiplexed amplicon mix to be sequenced. The presented procedure is independent of the specifi c high-throughput sequencing technology used, which makes it highly versatile.
Clemmensen, K. E., Ihrmark, K., Durling, M. B., & Lindahl, B. D. (2016). Sample preparation for fungal community analysis by high-throughput sequencing of barcode amplicons. In Methods in Molecular Biology (Vol. 1399, pp. 61–88). Humana Press Inc. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-3369-3_4