IDENTIFICATION OF FUNGAL ORGANISMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE RHIZOSPHERE OF MAIZE (Zea mays L.): BASIC MOLECULAR TECHNIQUES
The rhizosphere of plants harbours diverse communities of microorganisms which play important roles to the plant
and other living organisms. This study was aimed at isolating and characterizing fungi associated with the
rhizosphere of Zea mays L. using both traditional cultural techniques and basic molecular methods. Fungi were
isolated from the soil around the root of maize plant obtained from University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The
fungal DNA was extracted using Zymo Fungal/Bacteria DNA Miniprep Kit and amplified using the primer pair:
ITS4 and ITS5. Internal Trnascribed Spacer (ITS) sequences of the isolates were blasted on National Centre for
Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database and identified as Aspergillus pseudonomius and Penicillium sp.
Phylogenetic tree was constructed to access the relationship between the isolates obtained from this study and other
isolates on GenBank. The sequences of the isolates have been deposited in GenBank under the accession numbers:
MN187251 for Aspergillus pseudonomius and MT723948 for Penicillium sp. The molecular techniques used in
this study were sufficient in classifying the fungal isolates. This study has given insight into some of the fungi that
inhabit the rhizosphere of Zea mays.