Fungi represent an essential component of ecosystems, functioning as decomposers and biotrophs, and they are one of the most diverse groups of Eukarya. In the tropics, many species are unknown. In this work, high-throughput DNA sequencing was used to discover the biodiversity of soil fungi in the Aguarongo forest reserve, one of the richest biodiversity hotspots in Ecuador. The rDNA metabarcoding analysis revealed the presence of seven phyla: Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Mortierellomycota, Mucoromycota, Glomeromycota, Chytridiomycota, and Monoblepharomycota. A total of 440 identified species were recorded. They mainly belonged to Ascomycota (263) and Basidiomycota (127). In Mortierellomycota, 12 species were recorded, among which Podila verticillata is extremely frequent and represents the dominant species in the entire mycobiota of Aguarongo. The present research provides the first account of the entire soil mycobiota in the Aguarongo forest, where many fungal species exist that have strong application potential in agriculture, bioremediation, chemical, and the food industry. The Aguarongo forest hides a huge number of unknown fungal species that could be assessed, and its protection is of the utmost importance.
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