Diversity of the endophytic filamentous fungal leaf community at different development stages of eucalyptus
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Fungal endophytic species inhabiting the leaves of eucalypts are capable of utilising leaf sugars and can influence both plant growth and health. Endophytic fungal symbionts can use simple soluble sugars in leaves as their main carbon source. This study set out to determine the diversity and distribution of the endophytic filamentous fungal leaf community in the hybrid Eucalyptus urograndis due to its economic importance. The fungal leaf community was characterised using denaturing gradient electrophoresis (DGGE) and correlated with levels of leaf nutrients and sugars throughout plant development. Sequencing of DGGE bands revealed the presence of Basidiomycota and Ascomycota phyla. Fourteen species and three genera of filamentous fungi were identified, and the population structure was affected by the plant developmental stage. Levels of K, Cu, N and Mn influenced communities from the clonal garden, whereas leaves in the field had higher glucose, fructose and sucrose. Many fungi were found to be specific to a certain development stages: Diplomitoporus crustulinus, Podosphaera tridactyla and Aspergillus restrictus to the clonal garden stage; Chaetomella acutiseta and Ascotricha chartarum to the shading stage; Erratomyces patelii and Saxomyces sp. to the shading output stage; Lepidostroma sp. and Saxomyces sp. to the dispatch stage; and Mycosphaerella populicola to the field stage. Teratosphaeria toledana and Teratosphaeria acidotherma were found at more than one developmental stage. Cladosporium sp. and Rhodosporidium fluviale colonized and persisted in plants at the dispatch and field stages. This is the first report of P. tridactyla, A. restrictus, E. patelii, Saxomyces and Lepidostroma sp. as endophytes in eucalipt.
KeywordsDiversity 18S rRNA Denaturing gradient electrophoresis (DGGE) Sequencing
The authors thank the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior–CAPES) and Celulose NipoBrasileira (CENIBRA) for financial support and the Minas Gerais State Research Foundation (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais–FAPEMIG) for the grant provided to P. S. B. Miguel. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the Laboratório de Ecologia Microbiana (LEM), of the Microbiology Department at the Universidade Federal de Viçosa, for operational support.
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