Mycological Progress

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 489–500 | Cite as

Mycobiomes of sympatric Amorphophallus albispathus (Araceae) and Camellia sinensis (Theaceae) – a case study reveals clear tissue preferences and differences in diversity and composition

  • Martin Unterseher
  • Samantha C Karunarathna
  • García Roberto Cruz
  • Nikki H Dagamac
  • Mathilde B Dahl
  • Serena E Dool
  • Michelle Galla
  • Lina Herbst
  • R Henrik Nilsson
  • Sébastien J. Puechmaille
  • Caroline Schöner
  • Michael Schöner
  • Abu B Siddique
  • Annette Teltewskoi
  • Kristina Wicke
  • David G Würth
  • Christian Wurzbacher
  • Kevin D Hyde
Original Article


Multiple biotic and abiotic parameters influence the dynamics of individual fungal species and entire communities. Major drivers for tropical plant endophytes are undoubtedly seasonality, local habitat conditions and biogeography. However, host specialization and tissue preferences also contribute to the structuring of endophytic mycobiomes. To elucidate such specializations and preferences, we sampled two commercially important, unrelated plant species, Amorphophallus albispathus and Camellia sinensis (tea plant) simultaneously at close proximity. The mycobiomes of different tissue types were assessed with high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer DNA region. Both plants hosted different fungal communities and varied in α- and β-diversity, despite their neighboring occurrence. However, the fungal assemblages of Amorphophallus leaflets shared taxa with the mycobiomes of tea leaves, thereby suggesting common driving forces for leaf-inhabiting fungi irrespective of host plant identity. The mycobiome composition and diversity of tea leaves was clearly driven by leaf age. We suggest that the very youngest tea leaves are colonized by stochastic processes, while mycobiomes of old leaves are rather similar as the result of progressive succession. The biodiversity of fungi associated with A. albispathus was characterized by a large number of unclassified OTUs (at genus and species level) and by tissue-specific composition.This study is the first cultivation-independent high-throughput assessment of fungal biodiversity of an Amorphophallus species, and additionally expands the knowledge base on fungi associated with tea plants.


Camellia Mycobiome diversity High-throughput metabarcoding Host specialization Tissue preferences of endophytes 



UM greatly acknowledges financial support from the German Science Foundation (DFG) under grant number UN 262/9-1, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for a travel grant to Northern Thailand and the Mushroom Research Centre. WC acknowledges financial support from the Marie Sklodowska-Curie action CRYPTRANS. UM also thanks Mushroom Research Foundation for the support of the field work at Mushroom Research Center (MRC), Chiang Mai. Klaus Fischer (Greifswald) and the DFG Research Training Group GRK 2010 RESPONSE are acknowledged for support of a PhD student workshop about metabarcoding during which most data were analyzed.

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Copyright information

© German Mycological Society and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Unterseher
    • 1
  • Samantha C Karunarathna
    • 2
  • García Roberto Cruz
    • 3
  • Nikki H Dagamac
    • 3
  • Mathilde B Dahl
    • 3
  • Serena E Dool
    • 4
  • Michelle Galla
    • 5
  • Lina Herbst
    • 5
  • R Henrik Nilsson
    • 6
  • Sébastien J. Puechmaille
    • 4
  • Caroline Schöner
    • 4
  • Michael Schöner
    • 4
  • Abu B Siddique
    • 3
  • Annette Teltewskoi
    • 7
  • Kristina Wicke
    • 5
  • David G Würth
    • 3
  • Christian Wurzbacher
    • 6
  • Kevin D Hyde
    • 8
  1. 1.Evangelisches Schulzentrum MartinschuleGreifswaldGermany
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Kunming Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina
  3. 3.University of Greifswald, Institute of Botany and Landscape EcologyGreifswaldGermany
  4. 4.University of Greifswald, Zoology Institute and MuseumGreifswaldGermany
  5. 5.University of Greifswald, Institute of Mathematics and Computer ScienceGreifswaldGermany
  6. 6.Department of Biological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of GothenburgGöteborgSweden
  7. 7.LifeMapsGreifswaldGermany
  8. 8.Center of Excellence in Fungal ResearchMae Fah Luang UniversityChiang RaiThailand

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