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Impact of a natural soil salinity gradient on fungal endophytes in wild barley (Hordeum maritimum With.)

  • Haifa Hammami
  • Paula BaptistaEmail author
  • Fátima Martins
  • Teresa Gomes
  • Chedly Abdelly
  • Ouissal Metoui-Ben Mahmoud
Original Paper

Abstract

Occurrence and distribution pattern of fungal endophytes in different tissues of halophytic plants across saline depressions are poorly studied. We investigated the endophytic fungal communities inhabiting roots, stems and leaves of Hordeum maritimum collected in a soil salinity gradient, i.e. non-saline, slightly saline and saline, using a culture-dependent approach. A total of 20 taxa belonging to Ascomycota phylum were identified by ITS rRNA gene sequence. Pyronema domesticum and Alternaria spp. were the most frequently isolated. Roots host higher diversity and were more frequently colonized by endophytes than aboveground organs. Endophytic composition of all organs surveyed differed according to salinity gradient. Contrary to expectations, the colonization rate of roots increased with soil salinity, indicating that under salt stress the endophyte-plant association is promoted. All the isolates exhibited in vitro saline tolerance, especially those belonging to genera Xylaria, Chalastospora, Alternaria and Pyronema. Fungal tolerance to NaCl under in vitro conditions appears to be more dependent on the isolates than on the sites of their isolation, suggesting that under natural conditions other factors, beyond soil salinity, should be taken into account. These findings highlight the importance of fungal endophytes in the protection and/or adaptation of both interacting species (plant-fungus) to salt stress under natural conditions.

Graphical Abstract

Keywords

Endophytic communities Halophytes Saline depression Similarity Tolerance index 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work is funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology–FCT–in the scope of the Transnational Cooperation Portugal–Tunisia project nº 6818 and partially by FEDER through the Operational Competitiveness Program–COMPETE–and by national funds through FCT–in the scope of the project PTDC/AGR-PRO/4354/2012.

Supplementary material

11274_2016_2142_MOESM1_ESM.docx (20 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 19 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haifa Hammami
    • 1
  • Paula Baptista
    • 2
    Email author
  • Fátima Martins
    • 2
  • Teresa Gomes
    • 2
  • Chedly Abdelly
    • 1
  • Ouissal Metoui-Ben Mahmoud
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire des Plantes ExtrêmophilesCentre de Biotechnologie de Borj-CédriaHammam-LifTunisia
  2. 2.REQUIMTE-LAQV, School of AgriculturePolytechnic Institute of BragançaBragançaPortugal

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