Massively parallel 454 sequencing indicates hyperdiverse fungal communities in temperate Quercus macrocarpa phyllosphere
* • This study targeted the fungal communities in the phyllosphere of Quercus macrocarpa and compared the fungal species richness, diversity and community composition among trees located within and outside a small urban center using recently developed 454 sequencing and DNA tagging. * • The results indicate that the fungal phyllosphere communities are extremely diverse and strongly dominated by ascomycetes, with Microsphaeropsis [two Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs); 23.6%], Alternaria (six OTUs; 16.1%), Epicoccum (one OTU; 6.0%) and Erysiphe (two OTUs; 5.9%) as the most abundant genera. * • Although the sequencing effort averaged 1000 reads per tree and detected nearly 700 distinct molecular OTUs at 95% internal transcribed spacer 1 similarity, the richness of the hyperdiverse phyllosphere communities could not be reliably estimated as nearly one-half of the molecular OTUs were singletons. * • The fungal communities within and outside the urban center differed in richness and diversity, which were lower within the urban development. The two land-use types contained communities that were distinct and more than 10% of the molecular OTUs differed in their frequency.